Quebec has taken a long hard look at itself, and decided it doesn’t like what it sees.

Its policies simply aren’t working.  Overall waste generated has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, with waste going to landfill rising by over 10% in the same period.

One of its key targets was to get 60% of the province’s waste food into composting by 2012 has had to be abandoned: the current figure is only 12% and the target just cannot be met.

However, rather than just trying to fiddle with green taxes, the government has gone straight for the jugular and announced plans to make it illegal to dump rubbish and food waste.

Key points of the 2010-15 Five Year Plan include:

  • cutting per capita waste by over 13% to 700kg a year by 2013
  • banning all paper and cardboard from landfills in 2010
  • banning all food waste from landfill by 2013
  • making manufacturers of electronics and batteries take responsibility for their disposal as soon as possible, with the scope further widened in 2011
  • spending an additional $50m on recycling centres by 2012
  • recycling / recovering at least 70% of all waste from construction industry

This is a legislative programme which deserves heartfelt applause.  And I hope it sticks, because if Quebec can pull this off there really is no excuse for any other state or country to lag behind.

Picture Credit: Spy Hill Landfill 4 by D’Arcy Norman from flickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.