This series of tips (including useful addresses, when appropriate) is in keeping with the Town of Mount Royal Sustainable Development Plan (2016), which the Town uses as a basis for coordinating several of its green initiatives.
RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES
All of us have them at home. They’re often found in a pile in the back of storage spaces. Now obsolete or too slow, they’re set aside and quickly forgotten once they’re replaced with the latest device.
Your initial reflex not to throw them out with your household waste is the right one. Bravo! The next step is to recycle them. Once old electronic devices are freed from their hiding places, recycling them couldn’t be easier: simply leave them at one of the many official Recycle My Electronics drop-off locations near you.
Electronic devices contain recyclable materials like glass, plastic, gold, silver, copper and palladium, all of which can and should be recovered.
Under the Recycle My Electronics program, some 15.5 million devices are recycled each year in Canada. Actually, since the program’s creation in 2009, around 100 million devices have been recycled. Recycling one million laptop computers saves an amount of energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 homes in a year.
Important: Protect your privacy! Before recycling your electronic device, delete all personal data from it (but be sure to make a backup copy first!).
WHAT TO RECYCLE?
- All types of computers: PCs, portables, servers;
- Computer accessories: all types of printers, ink cartridges, scanners, fax machines, monitors (CRT, LCD, etc.), mice, keyboards, CD-ROMs, diskettes, networking hardware, switches, routers, modems, UPSes, office hardware, telecommunications hardware, etc.
- Computer parts: hard drives, optical drives, memory, microprocessors, adaptors, power supplies, cooling systems, motherboards, PC cards, various green circuit boards, etc.
- All types of cables: USB, Ethernet, VGA, DVI, HDMI, IDE, power, connecting, printer, monitor, etc.
- All types of batteries: lead, portable, small, etc.
- All types of electronics: TVs, TV terminals, satellite receivers, VHS players, stereo systems, amplifiers, cellular telephones, camera- and phone-based video monitoring systems, etc.
OFFICIAL "RECYCLE MY ELECTRONICS" DROP-OFF LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR TOWN OF MOUNT ROYAL
- Renaissance – Librairie Beaumont, 1244 Beaumont Avenue, Mount Royal, Quebec, H3P 3E5
- Bureau en Gros – Town of Mount Royal, 4205 Jean-Talon Street West, Montreal, Quebec, H4P 2T6, 514 344-3044
- Bureau en Gros – Marché Central, 1041 Marché Central Street, Montreal, Quebec, H4N 1J8, 514-383-6323
- Best Buy – Marché Central, 8871 Acadie Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec H4N 3K1
- Écocentre Côte-des-Neiges, 6925 Côte-des-Neiges Road, Montreal, Quebec, H3S 2B6
- Écocentre Saint-Laurent, 3535 Sartelon Street, Montreal, Quebec, H4R 1E6
- Électrobac-Centre Rockland – 2305 Rockland Road., Mount Royal, Quebec, H3P 3E9. Recovery bin for small electronic devices only. The bin is located next to the column to the right of the food court escalator.
BATTERIES, INK CARTRIDGES AND USED CELLULAR TELEPHONES
Look for the Town’s bins in the following municipal buildings:
- 10 Roosevelt Avenue (Public Security)
- 180 Clyde Road (Public Works)
- 1050 Dunkirk Road (municipal arena)
- 1967 Graham Boulevard (Reginald J. P. Dawson Library)
MAKE MORE ROOM FOR PLANT PROTEIN IN YOUR DIET
Launched by the Minister of Health, the new version of Canada’s Food Guide recommends regularly eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein-rich foods. And in the last category, foods rich in plant proteins should be those eaten most often. The new edition of the guide recommends pulses (beans and lentils), chickpeas, tofu, nuts and seeds as well as animal proteins such as meat, fish, eggs and yogurt.
As the guide notes, plant proteins, which can provide more fibre and less saturated fat than other protein-rich foods, appear to be beneficial for heart health.
EATING LESS MEAT TO HELP SAVE THE PLANET?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in addition to having a positive impact on your health, eating less meat can also help shrink your ecological footprint. This United Nations agency, which leads the global effort to eliminate hunger, is also interested in climate change, a phenomenon certain to affect food production.
In the FAO’s view, greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are the main factor behind modern-day climate change. And the agrifood industry – which includes agriculture proper, ranching, fishing and aquaculture – is a significant contributor.
Livestock production alone is responsible for nearly two-thirds of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and 78 percent of agricultural methane emissions.
That being said, production methods in countries around the globe are not identical. A BBC News article titled “Climate change food calculator: What's your diet's carbon footprint?” cites a 2018 study in which British researchers Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek showed that there are great differences in the land, methods and resources used to raise livestock or to produce any food. As an example, they point to beef cattle raised on deforested land, which generate 12 times more greenhouse gas emissions than pasture-raised cattle.
Poore and Nemecek’s study concludes that, general speaking, growing lentils and nuts generates less greenhouse gas emissions than, for example, raising beef or lamb.
The complete Poore and Nemecek study, Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts Through Producers and Consumers, appeared in the June 2018 issue of Science.
Turn off your lights for Earth Hour on March 30 at 20:30!
This March 30, connect to the planet and turn off your lights in support of the Earth Hour movement. At 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time, take part in the 2019 edition of this annual event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which aims to draw attention to wildlife loss in communities around the world.
Earth Hour started as a symbolic event in Sydney in 2007 and has since become the biggest environmental movement in the world, inspiring individuals, communities, companies, and organizations in more than 180 countries across 6 continents and in 24 time zones to support the fight against climate change and help reverse wildlife decline. Follow the movement and turn off your lights.
In the long term...
Electricity is relatively affordable in Quebec and mainly produced by hydroelectric power stations, which emit less CO2than oil or coal. That said, by limiting your energy use and reducing your home power bill, you’re making a difference for yourself and the environment. A multitude of tips on how to be more energy-efficient are now available on the Hydro-Québec website. You can easily find great tips to help you save on your heating, home appliances, lighting, and hot water.
For its part, the Town of Mount Royal is supporting several initiatives working to reduce energy consumption. In particular, the Town has collaborated with Hydro-Québec to offer three Ecofitt product kits at a competitive price to help residents save water and energy. Modernize your showerheads for significant water and energy savings! Each of these three kits contains nine quality products, including faucet aerators, leak detection tablets, and a low-flow showerhead.
Earth Massage handheld showerhead Price: $20, taxes included.
Earth Massage fixed showerhead Price: $15, taxes included.
SAVA fixed showerhead Price: $10, taxes included.
The kits are available for purchase at the Town Hall front desk, at 90 Roosevelt Avenue, during the office’s regular opening hours.
For more information: 514-734-3021 or 514-734-3026.
AIR QUALITY AND WOOD HEATING:
ONLY USE STOVES AND FIREPLACES APPROVED BY THE EPA (ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY)
The original design and philosophy that inspired our Model City were largely derived from England’s garden suburb and garden city movements at the end of the nineteenth century. The aim of these urban ideals was to find solutions to the public health crisis that gripped society at the height of the Industrial Revolution. In his vision of garden-lined cities of tomorrow, Ebenezer Howard advocated for the creation of new types of urban areas that reintegrated nature in contrast to the cities scarred by industrialization, whose citizens were suffocating under the pollution and small airborne particles generated by the overuse of charcoal.
In our corner of the world, the problem is not coal combustion, but rather the fine particles emitted by wood heating. When highly concentrated in the air, these particles have adverse effects on the health of the population, especially vulnerable individuals, i.e. children, the elderly, and people with asthma, emphysema, or heart disease. In winter, these effects can be exacerbated when weather conditions poorly disperse atmospheric pollutants, producing frequent seasonal smog.
Particulate pollution has visible consequences
Of the particles emitted by wood heating, those with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) cause the greatest health concerns. These suspended particles are so small that when inhaled, they settle on the surface of the pulmonary alveoli and impair gas exchange, which impacts the respiratory and cardiovascular system by, for example, aggravating symptoms of asthma through the irritation and inflammation of the bronchi. Winter smog, of which residential wood heating is a contributing factor, is mainly comprised of fine particles.
Temperature inversions are weather phenomena that impair the dispersion of air pollutants. Under normal conditions, warm, less dense air rises into the cool upper atmosphere, carrying pollutants with it. This is known as vertical dispersion. Temperature inversions produce the exact opposite by allowing a layer of warm air to remain stationary above a colder air mass, thereby trapping the cold air at ground level. The denser and heavier cold air does not rise under temperature inversion, and prevents vertical dispersion, thus imprisoning pollutants at ground level.
Pollutants in smoke from wood fires
Fireplaces, which are peaceful, romantic, and harmless at first glance, produce smoke containing over a hundred different toxic substances:
- Fine particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- Several irritants
A by-law inspired by the garden city of today
To counter the effects of pollution generated by wood burning, the Town of Mount Royal will enact a new by-law concerning solid-fuel heating and cooking units. Effective September 1, 2020, the use of any combustion appliance (stove or fireplace) will be prohibited unless it is an appliance or fireplace certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with an emission rate of 2.5 g/h or less of fine particulate matter.
The Town will become Quebec’s third city to enact such a by-law, after Montréal and Dorval.
Specific details to consider in light of this new by-law
• As is currently the case, it is forbidden to use any solid-fuel appliance during a smog warning.
• As stipulated in by-law No. 1424, citizens who already had an EPA- or CAN/CSA-B415.1-certified pellet appliance installed before January 25, 2017, may continue to use it.
• Any appliance may be used during power outages longer than three hours.
Pollution and firewood
Effects of smoke on health
Potential health effects of certain contaminants from wood smoke when overly concentrated in the air
|Carbon monoxide||CO||Headaches, nausea, dizziness, and aggravated angina in individuals with cardiac problems|
|Volatile organic compounds||VOCs||Irritation of the respiratory tract and breathing difficulties. Some VOCs, like benzene, are carcinogenic|
|Acrolein and formaldehyde||―||Irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract|
|Fine particles||PM2.5||Irritation of the respiratory tract, aggravation of cardiovascular diseases, and precocious mortality|
|Nitrogen oxides||NOx||Irritation of the respiratory system, breathing pain, coughing, and pulmonary edema|
|Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons||PAHs||Some PAHs are considered or suspected to be mutagenic or carcinogenic.|
|Dioxins and furans||―||Probably carcinogenic|
Who is at risk
Smoke from wood burning is harmful to everyone. However, some people are more at risk:
- People with a chronic heart or respiratory disease: their symptoms may be aggravated by breathing fine particles.
- The elderly: they are more susceptible to chronic diseases.
- Children: their respiratory and immune systems are still developing, and their higher respiratory rhythm can cause them to take in more pollutants when the air is polluted.
Pollutants from wood burning are causing an increasing number of Montréal residents to develop the following health problems:
- Aggravated asthma
- Childhood bronchitis
- Lung cancer
Zero waste objective - Adopt good habits
The best waste is none at all! To reduce our ecological footprint, it is always better to reduce than to reuse or recycle. Fortunately, there are simple things we can do to minimize the waste we generate.
- Always have a reusable coffee cup on hand to avoid using disposable cups.
- Choose bulk over packaged foods, as the (excessive) packaging is usually composed of non-recyclable materials.
- Keep bulk foods in reusable containers, such as glass jars or cloth pouches, or wrapped in beeswax food wraps.
- Don’t use straws in restaurants and avoid using them at home.
- Don’t buy single-use water bottles. Why not drink tap water? It’s excellent here, in Mount Royal and across Quebec!
- Always go grocery shopping with reusable bags (to carry your groceries and bag your produce).
- Donate large items that you no longer need but that are still in good condition instead of taking the easy route and throwing them out.
- Repair things instead of discarding them; for example, resew the button onto your shirt or have a shoemaker repair the sole of your shoe. There are many ways to give our belongings a second life.
- Cook your meals instead of eating prepared or restaurant-delivered meals. Your food will be much healthier and use a lot less packaging.
If you still have residual waste after adopting these habits, make sure to dispose of it properly and to help optimize waste collection and composting by following our Household Waste Disposal Guide. The Town of Mount Royal also intends to contribute to the Montréal community’s sustainable development objectives by implementing good environmental practices. Consult the Town of Mount Royal’s 2016–2020 Sustainable Development Plan.
As little milk poured into our morning bowl of cereal. A soft drink sipped as we go on our daily walk. A squirt of shampoo to wash the dog in the evening. Because of the containers involved, each of these apparently harmless actions actually involves a large number of recyclable resources. Where do the cartons, bottles and other containers we put in our recycling bins come from? And why should we care?
1. Why recycle?
Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill. It also gives recyclables a second life, as they will be used to make new products. In fact, some materials, like metal, can be recycled infinitely. Recycling is one of the most accessible ways to limit your impact on the environment.
Today, recyclable materials are no longer seen as undesirable. Instead, they are considered a resource that can be exploited. Dumping waste is costly besides being very harmful to the environment. According to an article published last year in Le Devoir, landfill sites are responsible for 20% of Canada’s emissions of methane, which is strongly linked to global warming. And Quebec plays a leading role in these emissions, with the equivalent of the load of a 25-tonne truck being dumped in our landfill sites every minute.
Also worth reading: La semaine québécoise de réduction des déchets (SQRD)
2. What is recycling?
On arriving at the sorting centre, recyclable materials are grouped by type and pressed into bales. The bales are sold to companies in Canada and abroad for transformation into new products. In the Urban Agglomeration of Montreal, nearly 200,000 tonnes of recyclables are processed annually.
In short, recycling lets us make new products while reducing the number of resources required. For example, recycling one tonne of paper saves 18 trees that would otherwise have been cut down, while five 2L plastic bottles are enough to make a sweater with!
3. What to recycle?
Paper, cardboard (fibreboard), metal, plastic, glass… nearly everything is recyclable!
There are a few exceptions to that rule, however:
– Most multi-material bags (chip and cereal bags, binders, etc.) are not recyclable, though milk and juice cartons are.
– Hazardous household waste (HHW) such as paint, tires, solvents, fluorescent tubes, etc.) should usually be taken to one of the Agglomeration’s Ecocentres or to where you bought them.
– Bulky items and construction waste have their own separate collection, every other Wednesday.
– No. 6 plastics go into household waste.
– Yard trimmings and food waste go into the compost bin (green or brown bin).
Questions about the drop-off points?
The Ça va où? website and app are designed to point you to the right drop-off points.
4. Tips and advice
– Rinsing your containers helps prevent mould, odours and contaminating other materials.
– Break down boxes to save space in the bin.
– If moving your bin is hard for you, speak with a neighbour. Bins can be shared and doing so might make everyone’s life a little easier.
– Complying with the collection schedule remains essential.
Note: Under Town of Mount Royal By-law No. 1358, bins must be placed on your property next to the sidewalk and may not be set out before 19:00 on the evening before the collection. The bins must be put away by 23:00 on the day of the collection. When put away, receptacles and bins kept outdoors must not be visible from the street and must be located at least 2 m from any property line.
For more information, call the Info Collection Line at 514 734-4123.
Eating local: Reducing your ecological footprint, one mouthful at a time
When we go grocery shopping, we don’t necessarily appreciate the impact of our food choices on the environment. On its website, GRAIN, an independent organization that advocates for biodiversity in the global food system, reports that between 44% and 57% of all greenhouse gas emissions are food system-related. That is why we should be looking closely at what we put in our shopping cart.
Eating food produced near our homes often reduces the pollution generated in transporting the goods to market. According to a Statistics Canada study, “Goods traveling by air use more than four times the amount of energy by weight as road transport, nearly 40 times more than rail and over 44 times more than marine.”
Also according to GRAIN, food transportation is responsible for some five or six percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
What’s more, when you buy local, less packaging is usually needed to keep the food in good condition all the way home. Buying local is a simple and effective way of ensuring that the distance travelled by the food you eat is reasonable. It also supports all the people directly and indirectly involved in producing, transporting, transforming and selling the products. And with 12% of Quebec jobs being related to the bio-food sector, it is clear that what we put in our shopping cart can make a difference.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buying local and in season is one way to limit your environmental impact. Not only is seasonal produce fresher, buying it also increases our awareness of local terroirs without pressuring famers to adopt practices not suited to their soil type, climate, precipitation, etc. In this way, it encourages more energy-efficient farming.
For information about seasonal fruit and vegetables, visit the Fraicheur Québec website (French only).
Looking for inspiration on new ways of showcasing local food on your table? See the collection of recipes (French only) using ingredients you’re likely have on hand and developed by the environmental organization Équiterre.
The Mount Royal Public Market: An opportunity to buy local products!
To encourage local buying, the Town recently began holding a public market. Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 19:00, around a dozen Quebec producers set up shop to present their fresh or prepared products on Moyle Road. Until August 29, you will be able to buy a wide variety of products, including fruits, vegetables and high-quality meat, not to mention teas, oils, stuffed olives, ready-to-eat dishes and baked goods. all in a warm and family-friendly setting.
A source of culinary inspiration and information about the products you have in hand, the producers are happy to help with your buying decisions. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions!
The public market also happens to coincide with the street food truck event in Connaught Park on Thursdays between 17:00 and 21:00.
Be sure to check out these two activities. And don’t forget to bring reusable bags to hold all your purchases!