Talking trash in the MRC Pontiac

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Maryam Amini

MRC PONTIAC – Waste management in the Pontiac has become challenging in recent years, with waste quantities increasing in some municipalities. For example, Shawville’s waste output increased between 2010 and 2021, while Mansfield saw a slight decrease. In 2021, around 5,000 tons of residual material was produced in the MRC Pontiac, compared to 4,448 tons in 2014 and 2,743 tons in 2010.

The MRC has recently updated their waste managment plan, called the Plan de gestion des matières residuals (PGMR) with the goal to reduce the area’s waste. Municipalities are hopeful these plans will better improve the waste management process in the future.

According to Jason Durand, MRC director of territory, the MRC plays a strategic support role in regional waste management. “The MRC is responsible for planning, in collaboration with the municipalities. There is a centralization of information through the MRC (updating regulations, promoting good practices, government orientations, etc.), which is transmitted to municipalities, which are individually responsible for managing their residual materials. However, it’s possible to have a regrouping of certain services at the MRC level (McGrimmon waste contract, discussions in progress on collecting organic matters, etc.),” he explained.

Richard Armitage, Shawville councillor, believes the waste increase in Shawville is due to population increases. “We had the largest population growth and that affected tonnage. We’re trying to manage waste in collaboration with the MRC by promoting recycling. Also, a licenced company may open in the Pontiac Industrial Park for waste collection and the MRC is looking into a program for collecting organic food waste to decrease tonnage by 40%,” he told the Journal.

Eric Rochon, Mansfield’s director general, said they’ve tried to improve waste management by educating residents on composting and recycling. He believes COVID affected tonnage. “During COVID, people stayed home and consequently produced more waste. We’re aware of the tonnage and are trying to use MRC plans
to manage it,” he said.

Stacy Lafleur, director general of Thorne, one of the lowest waste producers in the region, says residents bring their own waste to the transfer station and pay $2 per bag.