Global recycling crunch ends up hitting the streets in NDG
Niki Koulakis runs Cosmo’s Snack Bar in NDG on Sherbrooke Street near the corner of Draper, right in a cluster of several other restaurants. Before work on Tuesday, she took out the recycling. On Thursday afternoon she could still point to it.
“Is there a problem?” she asked rhetorically. “I think there is.”
Across Montreal, city officials are grappling with recycled materials that aren’t getting picked up. According to Councillor Peter McQueen, while this issue has cropped up over the past month, a glut of recyclables wasn’t picked up this week.
This not simply a local problem, but a global one — on Jan. 1, China started refusing to take much of the foreign recyclables that it had previously accepted for years. Locally, contractors are now strategically missing some pickups because they have no where to put the refuse, McQueen said.
“Now it’s a growing awareness that’s bigger than one contractor. I’m not saying these contractors acted 100 per cent responsibly, but it’s not entirely their fault either,” McQueen told Global News. “They didn’t see this crisis coming either.”
Problematic corners in NDG include Sherbrooke and Draper, and Hingston and Notre-Dame-de-Grace.
Nadia Salvaggio said she put her recycling out for Tuesday as well, but her full green can was still out by the afternoon.
“I’m leaving it out until they pick it up,” she said, adding she wants the city to come up with a plan to recycle its own waste going forward.
City officials — among others — are now scrambling to find a solution to the problem.
“We’re just going to have to see what the solution will be,” McQueen said.
“It’s much bigger than Cote-des-Neiges/NDG, it’s bigger than Montreal.”
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