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