Montreal’s blue and green patrols teach people proper waste and water management

Click to play video: 'To flush or not to flush: Do you know Montreal’s wastewater rules?'
To flush or not to flush: Do you know Montreal’s wastewater rules?
WATCH: Did you know that putting hair or food down your toilet is not allowed? What’s worse, it can create major problems for the city. As Global’s Gloria Henriquez reports, Montreal now has a new patrol working the streets to raise awareness – Aug 9, 2023

Did you know that putting hair or food down your toilet is not allowed?

It can create major problems for the city.

If you didn’t, you’re not alone.

That’s why a special brigade is going around Montreal trying to sensitize people to proper waste and water management.

Massiouane Hamadache joined Montreal’s green and blue patrol this summer. He says he’s committed to making Montreal a greener city.

“I want to help people to have a green planet for our generation and future generations,” says Hamadache.

He is teaching people how to compost and recycle.

As he looks inside garbage bins along the Lachine Canal, he remarks there are a lot of things that are supposed to go in the compost, such as corn husks and food leftovers.

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His job is to raise awareness, so people discard things in the appropriate bin.

“Yeah for example, as you can see, I have the pamphlet for the management of organic waste,” he says.

Hamadache not only talks to people along the Lachine Canal, he also goes door to door in the area.

He says most people are surprised to hear their habits are not in line with city bylaws or aren’t good for the environment.

Sometimes he is also surprised by people.

“During a rainy day he was watering his grass… so yeah,” Hamadache said of someone he talked to.

The blue and green patrols are an initiative the city has been growing for more than a decade in partnership with environmental non-profit Eco-Quartiers.

The city says our landfills are running out of space and we need to take action.

“Trying to find new ways to (upgrade) our items, recycle, brown bin etc. helps the city,” says Philippe Sabourin, a spokesperson for the city of Montreal.

Sabourin also says many people don’t know they can’t throw things like dental floss, wipes, diapers or even hair in their toilets and that leads to “fatbergs.”

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Fatbergs are huge masses of fat that combine with all those materials that aren’t supposed to go down the drain, blocking the city’s water infrastructure.

It’s simply bad waste management and bad for the planet.

“Our goal is to become a zero waste city since 2030 and we cannot work alone,” Sabourin explained.

So the city counts on people like Hamadache and residents to make it happen.

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