Do you respect recycling? If you don't, the Quebec rap group Alaclair Ensemble might have some beef with you. In their latest video, the internationally renowned hip-hop collective teamed up with the City of Laval recycling to implore us to "check c’qui a dans ton bac" [check what's in your bin] before we put in on the curb.
According to CTV News, more than half of Laval's 422,000 residents don't recycle properly. For the city's recycling centre, this poses incredible problems because most things will end up in a landfill rather than being properly recycled. So, what do we do when the kids aren't listening? We rap about it.
"Sont fâchées [they're mad]," raps Alaclair, referring to the employees at the Tricentris recycling centre. "Toutes ces belles matières recyclable souillées/Les employés du centre de tri/Finissent toutes mouillées [all these beautiful recyclable items are soiled/the employees at the Tri/go home wet]."
Employees at recycling centres certainly have a right to be frustrated with the frankly poor recycling efforts all over Laval and Montreal if more than half of residents don't recycle properly.
In order to properly "respect ton bac," Alaclair Ensemble wants you to remember one simple rule: "Métal - Verre - Plastique/Carton - Papier - that’s it [metal - glass - plastic/cardboard - paper - that's it]!"
The video (seen below), moves through the different areas of the Tricentris recycling centre, really showing off the scale of the place. Tricentris has processed over 5 million tons of recycling since it first opened.
Despite all the recycling, Alaclair mentions right off the bat that "y’a plein d’déchets qui ne devraient pas/Être ici [there's a ton of garbage that isn't supposed to be here]."
Alaclair goes on to give us all a lesson on how to properly recycle. Yogurt cups? Big nope. Auto parts? Yikes. Construction materials? Try again, bro. Baby diapers? You can't be serious.
If you're already familiar with Alaclair Ensemble, you know to expect a killer tune. Among this education on recycling is a catchy song with a beat that absolutely pops, underscored by clever tongue-in-cheek lyrics and turns of phrase.
The hip-hop collective first formed in Quebec City in 2010. They've released seven albums. Their latest release, America, Vol. 2came out on November 22, 2019.
Comprised of a culturally diverse assortment of rappers from Montreal and Quebec City and rapping in Franglais has earned Alaclair Ensemble a reputation of being boundary-smashing innovators in Quebec's rap game.
We should all take a page from the Alaclair handbook and "mets du respect dans ton bac", don't you think?
If rap can help inspire a generation of Lavalians to recycle properly, I'm all for it. And with recycling centres closing left and right, Montreal should also get its act together.