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Montreal to ban stores from dumping unsold clothes, food as part of waste plan

Last Updated Oct 17, 2019 at 6:37 pm PDT

Garbage is moved at a landfill in Sumpter Township, Mich., Monday, March 3, 2003. A massive report by the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement says the amount of waste Canadians generate continues to increase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Paul Sancya

MONTREAL — The City of Montreal has plans to forbid grocery chains and other stores from throwing out edible food and useful clothing as part of its five-year plan to significantly reduce waste.

The measures announced today are aimed at cutting waste at its source and reducing the amount that ends up in landfills.

Coun. Laurence Lavigne Lalonde says in the case of food, it doesn’t make sense that perfectly consumable items end up in the trash when there are children and others going hungry.

She says the city wants to work with food producers and grocery chains to either donate the food or at the very least, ensure it is composted.

A public consultation will be held on the plan, but the city’s objectives are diverting up to 75 per of residual waste away from landfills by 2025 and 85 per cent by 2030.

According to a study on food waste commissioned earlier this year by Toronto-based Second Harvest, one-third of Canada’s food waste could be recovered.

Montreal will also move to ban clothing and textile companies from throwing out unsold clothes and instead encourage them to give unsold products to community organizations or introduce them into the circular economy so they can be reused.

Coun. Jean-Francois Parenteau says the city also hopes to encourage the Quebec government to allow used clothes to be used for stuffing. It’s the last province to have rules in place forbidding it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2019.

The Canadian Press