A Quebec product stewardship organization is investing $6.7 million to improve glass recycling in the province through improved sorting and market development.
Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ) also is partnering with recycling equipment firm Machinex, based in Plessisville, Quebec, and recycling technologies firm Krysteline Technologies, based in Dorset, United Kingdom, on the project, according to a news release.
The effort involves the first three components of its Innovative Glass Works plan. EEC pledged in 2015 to develop a solution to recycle 100 percent of the glass in Quebec.
The first component of the program involves installing Krysteline Technologies glass sorting and cleaning equipment in several sorting centers to conduct demonstration projects. EEQ has invited 24 sorting centers to participate.
EEQ also will ask Quebec equipment providers to propose equipment to be tested as part of research and development projects.
The third component aims to provide financial support to companies marketing new applications to give a second life to recovered glass.
The plan reflects EEQ’s plan to optimize curbside recycling in collaboration with its government and industry partners. “We want to demonstrate, beyond any doubt, that the challenges of the Quebec context can be transformed into opportunities,” said Maryse Vermette, EEQ president and CEO. “The technologies we are implementing are concrete proof that it is possible to improve the performance of glass recycling in Quebec."
Machinex will work with Krysteline Technologies (Machinex is its North American distributor) to properly apply the technology, which Machinex said is the first of its kind in North America and is aimed to meet the challenges of mixed materials recycling. The move also will modernize the selected sorting centers.
"The technology that we have developed specifically addresses the challenges of curbside recycling in Quebec, which are similar to those in Great Britain and Australia, where the same technology has been used successfully for several years,” said Steve Whettingsteel, managing director of Krysteline Technologies.
EEQ is inviting sorting centers to apply by March 14 to participate in the demonstration projects. Equipment will be installed in the selected centers in the following months.
The non-profit EEQ collects company contributions and then redistributes them to finance municipal curbside recycling services in Quebec.
Glass recycling has struggled greatly of late. New Orleans and Atlanta are two cities that have found a tough go of it to increase recycling of the material.
Leone Young, in her October Business Insights column for Waste360 on the September Recycling Summit, wrote about the market’s struggles as discussed at the conference. The high transportation costs, low output value and its ability to degrade the finished recycling bale and damage the recycling equipment are all problems the commodity faces. But municipalities don’t want to abandon glass, as its heavy weight contributes considerably to hitting recycling goals.