Montreal borough begins PPE collection

SAINT-LAURENT, Quebec – Residents and employees of Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough will be able to drop off personal protective equipment, including single-use masks and gloves, in new Terracyle boxes that have been set up in municipal buildings.

According to the United Nations, it is expected that “approximately 75 percent of the masks and other tools used during the pandemic will end up in landfill sites or float in the oceans”. Saint-Laurent has taken the initiative to find a concrete solution to this real problem, in line with the objective of the Sustainable Development Policy adopted in January 2019 to make Saint-Laurent a sustainable and resilient municipal territory.

Drop-off boxes accessible to the public and to municipal employees can be found at the following locations: Borough Hall, the Bibliothèque du Boisé, the Bibliothèque du Vieux-Saint-Laurent, the Centre des loisirs and the Sports Complex.

Additional boxes have been added at municipal workshops to meet the specific needs of the employees in the Borough’s public works department.

Once full, the boxes are sent to Terracycle, which recycles the contents, transforming them into new raw materials, such as plastic granules. These are then used to make new objects, such as pallets or storage boxes or synthetic wood street furniture.

“In the face of the present situation, everyone’s health is still our priority. However, we must keep in mind our responsibility to continue our efforts to reduce our ecological footprint,” explained Saint-Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa.

“As a result, these items – which are non-biodegradable and are potentially contaminated – mostly end up in landfill sites or in sewers and waterways. I am therefore encouraging employees and residents to dispose off their personal protective equipment at the various drop-off points we have made available to them. This small effort will definitely have a huge impact on the environment.”

TerraCycle is a waste management company that recycles products traditionally considered non-recyclable.

Saint-Laurent is the largest borough in the city of Montréal. It places sustainable development, and environment protection, in particular, at the heart of all its decisions. More than 70 percent of its territory is devoted to industrial and commercial activities, with over 4,500 businesses.