Retailers buried cans and empty bottles

Les détaillants ensevelis de canettes et bouteilles vides

Traders and recycling companies are crumbling as never before under the empty containers, returnable after a month of “déconfinement” of the set, a footprint that would not be the day before subsiding.

The green light has been given it has exactly a month to the collection restarts of the retailers, so that it had passed near three months, during which the consumer had acquired the bottles and empty cans at them. Their discipline to keep them, and then bring them back in stores, has resulted in a flood of bottles and cans, specialty shops up at the processing plant, in passing by the grocery stores.

“This is the brothel!” exclaims Remy Shepherd, owner of three convenience stores specialty in the city of Quebec.

“I’ve never had “empty” as I have in this moment. […] I’m taken up to the ears with it. There was no more space, lance-t-il. It was thought that the world would put it in the recycling [in confinement], but no ! I confirm to you that they have kept everything.”

“It stacks up, it stacks up, it stacks up… It is buried under the cans. Fortunately, it is a little less serious for the bottles”, hue the owner of World of beer, Joanie Bouchard.


Mr. Shepherd considers himself relatively lucky : the company is in charge of collecting the “gaps” in its branch offices, going faithfully every two weeks. However, not all can rejoice of such an attendance. Joanie Bouchard has found a “big boom” in the first month of “déconfinement” of the deposit. However, “it will soon be a month” that a company is not come to unload empty containers.

“We are at a point where it [is] devoted another room”, she says, an avenue to which is also resigned to Remy The Shepherd.

The CEO of the food retailers Association, Pierre-Alexandre Blouin, is concerned that this congestion force its members to have to disregard their legal obligation to collect the deposit.

“In some cases, retailers have had to begin to refuse to take the deposit. It is as if some salvagers forgot that we are their customers and they sell their product,” he says.

Risky chance for companies that recover the valuable aluminium : the recovery of the deposit coincides with the month of June, invariably the busiest of the year.

“We, we roll up to 150 % currently. […] While the world rolls like it has never rolled. The system is not designed to stop for three months. It is okay to tell people to keep the deposit, but the system was not ready for that,” says the operations director of Recycan for the whole of Québec, Frédéric Tremblay, aware of the significant delays in collection.

Slow down the system

The health concerns related to the COVID-19 also create a stir up at the recycling center of the company in Baie-d’urfé, where trucks sometimes wait by the dozens to be unloaded. The bags of cans, not crushed, favored by many retailers to prevent their employees handle the containers, often come to complicate the operation.

“It slows down a lot the system, provided that the delay of three months. To treat the same number of units, it takes three times more resources,” said Mr. Tremblay, indicating that the impact of this overhead will be felt minimally on “weeks”.

Recyc-Québec, which refers to a “significant increase in the volume, made up of all the retailers “to use their revaluations automated” to “better manage the flow of containers”.

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