Tag Archives: recycling

My kingdom for a lid

My beloved green recycling bin: zero cost, zero waste

I hadn’t paid attention to the matter until recently, but apparently the city of Montreal has a problem with its recycling bins.

Actually, a few problems.

The first is that after prolonged use they tended to crack and break. That’s okay though, the recycling bins themselves are recyclable, and there are new, stronger bins like the one above (after three years of use, it’s dirty, but completely intact).

The second is that they’re difficult to carry outside, requiring the use of both hands. More of an annoyance to everyone else really, requiring them to put the bin down as they open and close doors (or awkwardly wedge the bin against something to free up the other hand). But for people with limited mobility, it’s a more serious problem.

Finally, the most pressing issue, it seemed, was that papers and light containers would fly out of the recycling bins and litter the surrounding streets. Though I’m pretty good about packing my bin and haven’t seen any of my recyclables tumbling down the street, my job at the coop I live in requires me to clean up the front yard on a nearly daily basis, and it’s obvious that garbage is piling up there from somewhere, most likely other green bins.

To solve all three of these problems, the city of Montreal has looked at three different solutions, which are being implemented in various boroughs. The city is studying each carefully to see which is more successful.

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Recycling bottles in the metro

Yellow "contenants" bin accepts plastic bottles for recycling

Yellow "contenants" bin accepts plastic bottles for recycling

I noticed as I passed by the Mont-Royal metro today that a new bin has been installed next to the paper recycling. A yellow bin marked “contenants” is the STM’s first which accepts plastic and glass bottles, milk/juice cartons and aluminum cans.

Though the main issue in the metro for the past decade has been the free Metro newspaper, it’s always been a bit silly that non-paper recyclable materials couldn’t be collected in the metro system.

Hopefully installation of these bins throughout the network will come fast, and the amount of unrecyclable garbage that goes out will get greatly reduced.

Recycling bin

UPDATE (Oct. 27): The STM has begun a three-month pilot project with such bins in “islands” (together with trash and paper recycling bins) at Mont-Royal, Champ de Mars and Snowdon. Once the project is finished in mid-January, the bins will be expanded throughout the network.

Boroughs change garbage, recycling collection schedules

For the benefit of those of you who never read those borough newsletters which serve to waste so much of our tax money with pointless letters from elected officials, many Montreal boroughs are changing collection days and procedures for garbage and recycling as we cross into the new year.

In most cases, the changes are the result of a decision to contract out collection services to replace borough employees. I’m sure there’s a news story in there somewhere.

Here’s the breakdown.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville (PDF)

As of Dec. 29, all collections from 8am to 6pm

  • Ahuntsic: Garbage on Tuesdays and Fridays; recycling on Wednesdays
  • Bordeaux-Cartierville: Garbage on Tuesdays and Fridays; recycling on Tuesdays
  • Sault-au-Récollet: Garbage on Mondays and Thursdays; recycling on Thursdays
  • Saint-Sulpice: Garbage on Mondays and Thursdays; recycling on Mondays
  • Christmas tree collection on Jan. 7 and 14.


Schedule remains the same. Christmas tree pickup Jan. 7 and 14.


Changes as of Jan. 5:


No changes. Recycling and garbage pickup remains on Mondays.


No apparent changes.


No apparent changes. Garbage collection on Wednesdays, recycling depending on sector.


Garbage pickup changes as of Dec. 29. Recycling pickup changes as of Jan. 5. Collection dates vary by region (no information online).

Montreal North

Recycling collection throughout the borough moves to Thursdays beginning Jan 8.


No changes. Garbage pickup in Pierrefonds Mondays and Thursdays (except Christmas and New Year’s). Garbage pickup in Roxboro on Tuesdays (plus Fridays during the summer). Recycling pickup Mondays west of St. John’s and Tuesdays east of St. John’s.

Plateau Mont-Royal

No apparent changes. Recycling pickups remain on Wednesdays.


  • As of Dec. 29, garbage pickup begins at 7am (Residents can put garbage out as of 9pm the night before)
  • Large object pickup on Wednesdays as of Jan. 5
  • As of Jan. 1, recycling bins available exclusively at Accès Montreal offices
  • Residents whose recycling pickup was Fridays will now be on Wednesdays (PDF).

Rosemont-La Petite Patrie

No apparent changes. Garbage pickups by region. Recycling pickups by region. Christmas tree pickups Jan. 7, 14, 21.


Saint-Laurent begins garbage and recycling collection with large green wheeled bins starting in the spring. Residents have until Jan. 16 to choose which size bin they prefer. Garbage collection is once a week depending on the sector of the borough. Recycling collection is on Thursdays throughout the borough for buildings of fewer than eight units, though that will change in April.


No apparent changes. Garbage pickup Mondays and Thursdays. Recycling on Wednesdays.


As of Jan. 1

  • Émard (area bordered by Saint-Patrick, Briand, Irwin, des Trinitaires, de la Vérendrye): recycling collection moves from Friday to Tuesday.
  • Côte-Saint-Paul (area bordered by Saint-Patrick, Pitt, Le Caron, Briand, de la Vérendrye and Bonaventure autoroute): recycling collection moves from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Ville-Marie (PDF)

Note: Recycling collection (as of Jan. 2) happens between 8am and 7pm, garbage collection (as of Dec. 27) between 8am and 4pm. Bags should be placed out front between 5am and 8am.

  • North (above René-Lévesque, west of Saint-Laurent): Recycling on Wednesdays, garbage on Mondays and Thursdays
  • South (below René-Lévesque west of Saint-Laurent, below St. Antoine east of Saint-Laurent): Recycling on Tuesdays, garbage on Mondays and Thursdays
  • East (both sides of Saint-Laurent north of St. Antoine, and east of Saint-Laurent and north of St. Antoine): Recycling on Thursdays, garbage on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Collection of Christmas trees during every Wednesday in January


  • Large objects such as furniture will be considered regular garbage, with the exception or large appliances and auto tires.
  • All garbage collection days remain the same, but will be during the day only (no evening pickup)
  • Apparently recycling is now being picked up by repurposed old garbage trucks.
  • Park Extension (west of Casgrain Ave.): Recycling pickup on Wednesdays
  • Villeray (Casgrain to Garnier): Recycling pickup on Tuesdays
  • François-Perrault (east of Garnier/Fabre, below Tillemont/Cremazie): Recycling pickup on Thursdays, large object pickup moves to Wednesdays
  • Saint-Michel (above Crémazie/Tillemont, east of Papineau): Recycling pickup on Mondays
  • Christmas tree collection on Jan. 7 and 14


No changes. Verdun’s collection system was overhauled in October. Christmas tree collection at all times

UPDATE (Jan. 7): The Gazette points out that the boroughs didn’t do a good job of letting people know about these changes (they were in the community papers and printed notices were sent, the problem is that people ignored the). It also includes a list similar to the one above of changes in various boroughs.

Marché Central is an environmental disaster

In an example of corporate chutzpah the likes of which I’ve never seen, Marché Central, the awful strip mall just above the Acadie Circle, is touting its environmental-friendliness by installing 25 recycling bins in its massive parking lots. It’s also distributed recycling bins to its stores, which means that its stores will be allowed to recycle for the first time.

Why do I think this is insane? Look at a map of the mall (click to embiggen):

Marché Central map

The red areas (which represent just about everything but the buildings) are parking lots and roads. The green areas (which are just about invisible) represent foliage (trees, grass), which fill spaces that they haven’t figured out a way to park a car in yet.

It gets worse. Besides enough space to park 4,000 cars simultaneously (600 of which are underground), the giant strip mall from hell has absolutely no provisions for pedestrians. Traffic lights have no pedestrian crosswalks. Sidewalks abruptly end forcing people to walk through parking lots. The closest bus comes only every half hour, and it doesn’t enter the mall. There are no bike paths anywhere on or near mall grounds, and very little bike parking space.

So you’ll forgive me if statements like this make me laugh:

«Ici, l’environnement, c’est devenu une priorité. Maintenant, quand le temps est venu de faire une dépense, on essaie toujours de trouver un moyen de réduire nos dépenses en énergie. C’est important de trouver des façons écologiques de gérer nos activités», précise de son côté le directeur-adjoint, Raymond St-Jacques.

«Ce projet est un bel exemple de responsabilité sociale et un effort important pour l’environnement, de dire la mairesse de l’arrondissement d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Marie-Andrée Beaudoin. Nous les félicitons et il nous fait grand plaisir de soutenir ce projet par la cueillette des matières recyclables sur le site-même du Marché Central.»

Reading further, you get the real reason behind this move (which, of course, should have been done years ago):

D’ici peu, le mégacentre commercial aimerait obtenir la désignation environnementale Go Green, une certification canadienne remise aux établissements commerciaux qui réduisent leurs dépenses en eau, en électricité et autres, afin d’innover et d’améliorer leurs pratiques environnementales.

In other words, it’s a B.S. PR stunt designed to get a B.S. corporate “green” certification that doesn’t mean anything, and convince the yuppie SUV drivers that by putting a used water bottle into a green bin they’re doing their part for the environment.

Shutting Marché Central down would do the environment far better than any PR stunt they can think of.

And shame on “journalist” Philippe Boisvert and Courrier Bordeaux-Cartierville for allowing a company to fool them so easily with smoke and mirrors.

UPDATE: Chris DeWolf agrees with me.