Legal basis

In Quebec, the Municipal Powers Act gives municipalities juridiction over residual materials management.

The Environment Quality Act, which introduced the EPR concept in 2002, and the Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials (adopted in 2004) established the industry’s obligation to financially compensate municipalities for the cost of curbside recycling. The share of producers’ financial responsibility has gradually grown from 50% in 2005 to reach 100% in 2013.  

The Regulation defines which materials are designated. ÉEQ is the organization certified to compensate the cost of recycling materials in the “containers and packaging” and “printed matter” classes.

Quebec's Regulation covers all types of containers, packaging and printed matter, but not books or other items designated by another regulation or formal program, such as the deposit system. The “containers and packaging” class includes all types of flexible or rigid material, including paper, carton, plastic, glass or metal, used alone or in combination with other materials to contain, protect, wrap or present a product or a set of products at any stage in the movement of the product or set of products from the producer to the ultimate user or consumer.

The Government of Quebec set a 2015 target of 70% for the recycling of paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal waste. Although ÉEQ is not accountable for meeting this target, it is a key player in that effort, both upstream and downstream of actual curbside recycling. That is why the organization provides significant additional funding to optimize the system and, ultimately, the sustainability of curbside recycling as the most efficient and effective system to manage materials marketed by the companies it represents.

Quebec’s curbside recycling system has specific characteristics, and several key players are involved:

  • The Government of Quebec, specifically the Environment Ministry, legislates activities related to residual materials management and determines recovery targets to be reached so as to provide a framework for action. The government approves ÉEQ’s Schedule of Contributions, which includes rules for its application, on an annual basis.
  • RECYC-QUÉBEC certifies eco-organizations such as ÉEQ and pays out compensation to municipalities from ÉEQ's contributions.
  • Municipalities report the net costs of collecting, transporting, sorting and conditioning recyclable materials, and manage (mainly via calls for tender) curbside recycling services.
  • Companies finance the system, and some of them take advantage of ÉEQ’s expertise and support to optimize the materials they generate and select more recyclable materials.

Fact and figures

Data 2012


8 mil.

No. of local authorities

1,111 municipalities grouped into 555 local or regional authorities

No. of companies in system

Over 3,000 contributing companies and organizations

Packaging introduced to the market

545,000 tons (rounded to 000‘s)

Recovered waste

353,000 tons  (rounded to 000‘s) of containers and packaging (64.8% recovery rate)

Types of packaging

All containers and packaging except soft drink and beer containers

Packaging organisation/s in Canada: