Residual materials

Domestic waste management

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In Quebec, enormous amounts of waste are produced on a yearly basis; nearly 25 tons every minute, 13 millions tons every year, with an average of 1,7 ton per inhabitant. Throwing them out makes them a pile of garbage, recycling them makes them, rather truly reveals, a pile of resources. Bag or bin, which do you choose? (Recyc-Québec).


How to apply the 4Rs (Reduce, reuse, recycle, recover)

This hierarchy is the building block of sustainable management. It aims to have one go through these steps in this order: Reduce what you buy, reuse what you already have, recycle what you don’t need and recover what you can (for example nutrients through composting). Throwing away and sending off to landfill is therefore the last option. Here are a few examples:

  • Watch for wrappings of all kinds while shopping. Try to look for things sold in bulk, with little or no wrapping or with recyclable or reusable ones.
  • Tired of all these paper coupons? Contact Publisac to be removed from the distribution list. You can also purchase and put up a sticker on your mailbox to reduce the amount of publicity you receive. There are many apps you can download in order to get discounts and deals equivalent to paper coupons.
  • Always bring reusable shopping bags with you or use the same plastic ones multiple times. There are a number of local businesses that specialize in the making of cotton bags for your produce shopping, and almost all grocery stores sell reusable shopping bags or all sizes and colors. Paper bags are also a good option if you forgot your bags as they can be used for composting afterwards. To prevent forgetting them, leave a few everywhere; in your car, backpack, purse, bike basket, guitar case, etc.
  • Reuse one-sided paper to make notepads! You can get creative.
  • Limit your production of toxic waste by buying as little toxic products as you can. Employees at the grocery and hardware stores, garden centers and even drugstores can inform you about less harmful options for your needs. There are also hundreds of DIY recipes you can find that are made from baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice that can replace your regular household products most of the time!
  • When you do need to buy toxic products, do so in smaller quantities so you don’t store surpluses and eventually dispose, even responsibly, of expired toxic waste. No waste at all is better than responsible disposal.
  • Avoid buying disposable or single-use items like razors, lighters, tablecloths, dishes or cameras.
  • Rent or borrow tools or devices you use rarely such as blasting units, roto-spaders, trailers, etc. The sections ‘’tools’’ and ‘’rentals’’ are very useful in the yellow pages. There are also more and more communal bike shops where you can borrow tools but also get support and learn a lot from pairs and volunteers. Some shops also rent tools, the same way as a library…but for tools!
  • Clean your tub and sink with baking soda and water.
  • Clean your mirrors and windows with water and vinegar.


Where to bring back end-of-life materials?

Take a look at our resource directory!


Residual materials managementRMM
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