The SAQ made an announcement early this week that the company is ready to accept the deposit of empty wine and spirit bottles, should the government approve a new mandate on glass recycling. 

President of the SAQ, Catherine Dagenais, surprised government officials when she made the announcement but importantly, made clear that many SAQ stores are unprepared to handle the projected volume of empties that people will bring. According to her, the stores simply do not have the space to store empty bottles for recycling. 

Since the SAQ rents out most of its storefronts in malls, for example, experts worry that SAQ locations won't be optimal for bottle consignment. According to Dagenais, space is already at a premium in most stores. The SAQ has roughly 200 million bottles of inventory every year, according to La Presse.

If the government goes ahead with their glass recycling mandate, the SAQ will comply with the rules but will determine alternative solutions for bottle deposit.

Despite the apparent lack of space, the SAQ has been trying to only stock enough product for one or two week periods to make up it. 

According to Recyc-Québec and the Montreal Gazetteglass recycling makes up about 13% of what you find in a typical blue bin. 

The SAQ has categorically said that it's impossible to establish a bottle deposit within their branches. They're working on solutions with a team of researchers to find ways to recycle and reuse the bottles in a separate facility. 

The public and government, it seems, based on responses, want the SAQ to establish at least some kind of glass bottle recycling system to combat landfill pollution.  


Translation: Though recycled, glass can be reused again and again. There is no reason why the SAQ, a crown corporation, doesn't make an effort to properly recycle bottles.


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The legislative committee will impose rules on the SAQ should they decide to implement a better system of glass recycling. Quebec is one of the few provinces that doesn't have a standardized wine and spirit bottle deposit, in fact. 

Glass recycling, as it's done now, can be dangerous and create hazardous conditions for those working at the recycling plant. Glass in bins often breaks apart, damaging equipment, injuring workers, and contaminating other recyclables

There's much debate about how the SAQ should proceed and all details will eventually come out this week once the legislative committee concludes discussions.

It seems that we'll soon be able to return our wine and spirit bottles for consignment in Quebec, whether or not the SAQ decides to implement it in their stores. 

Ultimately, it's what's best for the environment and allows people to be more responsible about their ecological footprint. 

Do you think this is a good idea? 

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