City cancels recycling center contract as bales piled up in sprinklers

Recova Services says the market for recalls has collapsed.

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Montreal is set to cancel its contract with a businessman who runs the Lachine recycling sorting center in the city as backlogs of paper reached the height of the sprinkler system.

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Services Ricova Inc. has warned. The city announced in early September that it would have to stop accepting recyclables collected weekly from homes across Montreal because the market for recycled materials has collapsed.

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At a city council meeting on Monday, opposition leader Arif Salem, who leads the Ensemble Montreal party, criticized Mayor Valerie Plante and her administration, Projet Montreal, over the situation, saying the problem with the contractor had been worsening for months.

“We are aware that the environment is nothing but a slogan for this administration,” Salem said during a period of questioning by council members, adding that the Montreal inspector general’s office had recommended canceling Rekova’s contract six months ago. We have no plan with this administration.

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However, Plante said her management was acting responsibly because “evicting” Recova six months ago would have interrupted Montreal’s recycling service, she said.

“We’re acting very diligently,” Blunt said.

The board voted late Monday to cancel Rekova’s contract no later than November 14. The date will be set by the city’s environment director, according to the decision.

The city has already agreed to transfer operations to another contractor, Société VIA, a non-profit corporation.

However, Blunt said she had “no problem” responding to the opposition’s demand for a special council meeting on the problem at the recycling center. The special meeting is expected to be called sometime next week.

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Ensemble Montréal said it has more questions for management since Ricova also has a contract to operate a recycling sorting center in the St-Michel area.

Chancellor Marie-Andre Mauger, a member of the city’s executive committee responsible for the file, told the council that canceling Rekova’s contract was “complicated” because the city first wanted to take steps to prevent the company from receiving five-year municipal contracts due to poor performance.

Rekova is seeking to overturn this decision in court, claiming that the city acted “unlawfully” and “On unfounded conclusions ‘by the Inspector General. Investigation by the inspector general He concluded in March that the company had not reported the amount it had received from selling recycled materials, a violation of its contract with the city.

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Meanwhile, Mujer warned the opposition on Monday to stop the “crying wolf”.

Montreal city councilors suggested that hundreds of bales of accumulated material would end up being landfilled. Mujer said none of it has yet been sent to the landfill.

However, Montreal councilman Alain D’Souza said it’s inevitable that some mountains of wet paper sitting outdoors at the Lachine site and piling up on sprinklers inside the facility will end up in a landfill.

Recycling sorting center in Fairway and François-Lenoir Sts. Lachine has been in trouble since the city awarded a $46.2 million contract to build and operate the facility in 2017. The winning bidder filed for creditor protection in 2020 before the facility was completed. Recova acquired the company’s contract the same year, but has not yet completed all of the construction, according to a civil service report submitted to the board on Monday.

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Under its contract, Rekova was responsible for accepting household recyclables and carrying out sorting operations at the facility at its own expense in the meantime, but it did not meet the quality standards stipulated in the contract for the sorted items, according to the report. . Non-recyclable materials, such as potato chip bags, are mixed with paper. The report says the company blamed the quality problem on materials it was receiving from the city.

She says the city sent the company several notices and letters of request. On July 25, the city sent another request letter to Rekova “particularly because this time material was accumulating inside the building, sometimes outside the sprinkler system.”

The report adds that the matter is urgent because two fires occurred in the center in 2021.

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Rekova informed the city in July that it had problems selling recyclables, particularly paper and cardboard, both locally and abroad. On September 6, the company’s president, Dominic Colopriali, informed the city that Rekova would no longer be able to receive recyclables at the Lachin Center after 9/11, the report said. She added that materials have since been accumulated at the site and “the city is constantly at risk of Recova stopping receiving recyclable materials.”

lgyulai@postmedia.com

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