The Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Benoit Charette, signed an ordinance to force the 3R Valorisation company to restore order in its overflowing sorting center in Montreal East, where even the buildings were disappearing under mountains of construction waste this summer, and where two recent fires in the garbage have resulted in the spillage of contaminated water.
The order signed by the Minister describes a long list of breaches of the rules in this specialized sorting center which claims to use an “eco-responsible” approach to revalue up to 95% of construction, renovation and demolition waste.
Lack of records of incoming and outgoing materials. Waste disposed of at unauthorized sites. Mountains of garbage that exceed safe height. Lack of space for firefighters in case of fire. Debris and dust that fly into the street or to neighbors. Leachate flows during snowmelt and rains. Refusal to provide basic information to inspectors. Disturbing odors. The list of reproaches noted since 2010 is long, according to the ordinance.
“The inspector notes that the site is almost entirely covered with residual materials, which even bury part of the buildings (sorting line) and that there is no longer access to the interior courtyard except by moving around the piles. of materials ”, specifies the document, concerning an inspection dating from last July.
Press had reported Wednesday that 3R Valorisation had been surprised by the Ministry’s investigators to throw its site waste in an illegal site in the heart of a wooded area in Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, more than 100 km from Montreal. The company’s lawyer replied that his client believed she was dealing with a licensed disposal site. A criminal investigation is underway into this case.
(Re) read the article “Thrown away illegally by a company …” eco-responsible “”
Fires and runoff
In addition, the Ministry confirmed Wednesday that two recent fires in the waste heaps of the sorting center had forced the intervention of Emergency-Environment teams.
A first fire broke out on August 30 in construction waste. The firefighters controlled the flames, but the intervention resulted in a polluting flow. “At that time, the fire-fighting water infiltrated the city’s sewers,” confirms Frédéric Fournier, spokesperson for the Ministry.
The next day a fire broke out again in the mountains of debris. “The Urgence-Environnement worker on duty went to the scene of the fire the same day in order to ensure control of the fire as well as the proper management of water for extinguishing and the handling of this same water in the sewer network. The city of Montreal’s industrial waste service has taken over the management of fire-fighting water to its sewer system, ”adds Mr. Fournier.
The new order issued by the Ministry imposes a series of measures to rectify the situation. No new material can be admitted as long as the sorting line is not cleared of the piles of rubbish which encumber it. All materials leaving the site must be transported to an authorized location. A ratio of material to be taken out must be respected to reduce accumulations on site: for three tonnes of material admitted, eight tonnes will have to be taken out, until the piles come down to an acceptable level.