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Public consultations on food waste in Montreal kick off online

Carrots wrapped in a plastic bag are seen at a market in Montreal on Thursday, June 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The city of Montreal has started online public consultations on the issue of food waste.

The city will hear opinions from interested people during four different consultations.

The goal is for the city to equip itself with measures and best practices in order to eliminate food waste.

Consultations were launched after a Plateau-Mont-Royal resident gathered enough signatures to force them.

Read more: Montreal to ban stores from dumping food and unsold clothes

Atlantide Des Rochers says she was inspired to act after she was on a walk in her neighborhood with her children and noticed garbage bins filled with perfectly good food.

“It shocked me,” Des Rochers said.

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“I asked store owners, managers who explained to me that they didn’t have enough resources and they had no other choice but to get rid of the food this way.”

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It inspired Des Rochers to establish a non-profit, Partage et Solidarité, which now helps secure food for about 5,000 people.

She says she’s partnered with 25 businesses in the Plateau-Mont-Royal which give her their unsold items.

“This food would be tossed if I didn’t recuperate it. It’s phenomenal quantities,” Des Rochers said.

“We’re talking about entire cases of fruits, vegetables, pastries, fresh and frozen products that are completely clean and good to consume. ”

She believes something similar can be done in each borough in order to fight against poverty.

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“It’s a very troubling situation,” Des Rochers said. “I have high hopes for this public consultation.”

Read more: Montreal Plateau garbage cans get environmentally-friendly makeover

According to the city of Montreal, households are responsible for 21 per cent of the city’s total food waste in Canada. Restaurants, businesses and grocery stores are responsible for 25 per cent.

On average, a Montreal grocery store will waste 3,200 tonnes of food a year.

The city is conducting four more consultations:

  • Wednesday Jan. 27, 2021 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday Jan. 29, 2021, at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday Feb. 4, 2021, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday Feb. 10, 2021, at 9 p.m. (only if enough people sign up and if deemed necessary).

People who want to submit their opinions and briefs on the issue should sign up on the city’s website or call 514-872-3000.

The deadline is Wednesday Dec. 16, 2020 at 5 p.m.

People can also send their briefs by email to commissions@montreal.ca.

The commission will meet after consultations wrap up in February in order to prepare its recommendations, which will be delivered to city council in the spring.

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