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Montreal’s recycling operations to continue if sorting centres close: Plante

Montreal’s recycling crisis persists
WATCH: The company that operates Montreal's two recycling sorting centers is closing up shop, leaving this city's recycling industry in the lurch. With China closing it's doors on Canadian recycling, it's unclear where all this material will go. Global's Tim Sargeant explains.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante vows that recycling will not come to a halt in the city as a potential crisis looms over the province.

“I want to reassure everyone that we will continue to collect and continue to treat recycling in Montreal,” she said at city hall on Monday. “It’s not going to stop.”

Provincial and municipal officials are bracing for four sorting centres in the province to cease operations in the near future, including two in Montreal.

READ MORE: Future of Montreal recycling uncertain after company announces intention to cease operations

Rebuts Solides Canadiens (RSC), which is owned by French company Tiru, announced last week it could be forced to close down the plants as it faces financial hardships. In a statement, the company said it was dealing with “great difficulties” linked to the economic model of its sorting centres.

The closures which could be imminent are looming but Plante said the city is still in touch with the company as it figures out its next steps.

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However, she said other contractors can quickly step in if RSC suddenly ceases operations at the two recycling plants in Montreal’s Lachine and Villeray–St-Michel–Parc-Extension boroughs.

“We looked at who else could operate the centre and we have a few people, a few companies that are ready to do it,” said Plante.

Montreal is also looking at long-term plans to address the issue, including better ways to recycle on a local level.

“I think the time when all the recycling would disappear in Asia and we wouldn’t even think about it is over because the crisis we’ve been living through before is real and it continues,” she said.

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Lionel Perez, leader of the opposition in Montreal, said the Plante administration should have seen the warning signs over the past two years and better prepared for a potential recycling crisis.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “It demonstrates to what extent they don’t know how to manage a large city.”

Global News reached out to RSC, which declined to comment.

Quebec faces recycling crisis
Quebec faces recycling crisis

— With files from Global News’ Tim Sargeant and Annabelle Olivier