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Plante was accused of waiting too long to address the recycling mess at the Lachine sorting facility

There was no shortage of fanfare at the inauguration of the Lachine sorting facility in 2019, but three years later many are asking what went wrong.

“The sorting centres are overflowing and have become fire hazards with the amount of bales of recyclable materials that are stacked up to the ceiling,” said Alan DeSousa, Mayor of the Saint-Laurent borough.

The company managing the Lachine recycling plant is Ricova, which said for years it has warned the city that the equipment installed was inadequate to meet the demand.

At City Hall, opposition leader Aref Salem wondered why the Valerie Plante administration didn’t hire someone else.

“We could have done it six months ago. We could have found solutions five years ago,” said Salem, leader of Ensemble Montreal.

Recycling advocate Karel Menard agreed that the city should have made the switch long ago.

But he isn’t buying Ricova’s explanation.

“It’s not because of the equipment. I wouldn’t say that because it is brand new. The sorting centre from 2019. So it’s only 3 years old,” he said.

Menard said it’s a good idea that Montreal will now use Société VIA, a non-profit organization, instead.

“The money they make with their operation, they reinvest it into the sorting centre or into the people who work there,” he added.

Mayor Plante faced questions about her team’s handling of the Lachine recycling facility on Monday at City Hall.

“If we had listened to Ensemble Montreal in cutting ties with Ricova, you know what would have happened? We would have a break in service,” Plante charged.

The opposition demanded a special council meeting be held specifically on the topic of the Lachine recycling centre — something the mayor agreed to because she said her administration has nothing to hide.

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