Environment

Montreal's plastic bag ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc

On August 23, 2016, the city of Montreal adopted By-law 16-051,  prohibiting the distribution of certain types of shopping bags in retail stores.  

Reusable bags

The ban for merchants offering light plastic bags to consumers took effect on January 1, 2018. It applies to all establishments whose main activity is the sale of merchandise at the retail level. A grace period for compliance will be granted through June 5, 2018. Banned are: conventional plastic shopping bags (a thickness of less than 50 microns) and Oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, biodegradable shopping bags, whatever their thickness.

Now let me advise you that this ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc. While I always have reusable bags in my trunk, be it for the grocery store or the pharmacy, I do not believe we should adopt a similar by-law.  Is it fair for someone who makes an unplanned trip to a store or for a senior or an individual using public transit who does not have any reusable bags handy? Yes, I suppose you can buy a new reusable bag at a number of stores. But should we force that on anybody?

I will be the first person to urge people to bring their own bag. I have more than a dozen in my trunk and the collection keeps growing. When I went on holiday to Tampa, I made sure to pack a few reusable bags and I used them for all of my grocery store visits.

Just understand your geography. In Montreal,  not covered by the by-law  are plastic bags used exclusively to transport foodstuffs to the cash counter of a retail store or to protect them, for hygiene purposes, from direct contact with other items (fruits, vegetables, nuts, bulk confectionery, prepared foods, meat, fish, bread, dairy products, etc.).

Côte Saint-Luc City Council will be addressing this with some kind of policy in the not too distant future.


Information meeting scheduled for continuous campaign to save Meadowbrook

Many people in Côte Saint-Luc have heard about the ongoing campaign to save the Meadowbrook Golf Course from development and have it converted into a green space. Many have the impression that it is protected and that the work is over.

On Thursday, May 11 (7 pm) Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook will hold an information meeting at St. Richard’s Parish in CSL (7070 Guelph Avenue, near Parkhaven) to update the public on the current status of the green space and to secure additional help to have the area converted into a regional nature park for the over 150,000 residents who live in the West End.

The meeting will feature several speakers and provide information on the green space and how it can be used by residents year-round for a variety of activities. There will be a special presentation on the many legal environmental battles in Montreal and a new legal defense organization, the Legacy Fund for the Environment.

All are welcome.

When: May 11th, 2017, 7 pm

Where: St. Richard’s Parish, 7070 Guelph CSL

For more information on Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook, go towww.lesamisdemeadowbrook.org, SOS Meadowbrook on Facebook or @Parc Meadowbrook on Twitter.

 

Library launches new Demonstration Garden

Chalk up another impressive initiative for our city and  the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.

On Sunday, June 8 we inaugurated the CSL Library Demonstration Garden and at the same time held our Second Annual Great Tomato Plant Giveaway. The newly constructed demonstration garden is  located behind the library. Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of council were  on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. A representative from the  TD Friends of the Environment Foundation was on hand to present a $2,250 grant for the project to our amazing librarian and new grandmother Janine West.

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Receiving a cheque from the TD Bank.

“This garden is an important component of the city-wide urban agriculture initiative launched last year and it is a perfect fit with the library’s mission of discovery and exploration”, says Mayor Housefather. “This vegetable garden is a space where people can learn a variety of gardening techniques through hands on experience.”

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Young Matthew Erdelyi helps with the ribbon cutting.

 

As the councillor responsible for the library,  I am  very proud of this initiative.

Plants were distributed to the first 400 residents to visit the Demonstration Garden (one plant per household and proof of CSL residency required). Residents were able to sign up for gardening classes offered at the library, a space at the community gardens, learn about the seed library and take a tour of the demonstration garden. Kid-friendly activities were also planned.

Lining Up Plants
Lining up for free plants.

“After the difficult winter we have just endured, urban agriculture is a wonderful excuse to spend more time outdoors”, said Councillor Allan J. Levine, who is the councillor responsible for urban agriculture. “We are hoping that all residents participate in this activity, in whatever manner suits them. And if someone isn’t sure that urban agriculture is for them, they can start by volunteering to help maintain the demonstration garden. They   they can start by volunteering to help maintain the demonstration garden. They will learn all the essentials while helping out their community.”

"The timing is perfect to do so because this past week was Canadian Environment Week, a time for grassroots action to help preserve, protect and restore our environment," said Carmela Lo Dico, the branch manager at the Quartier Cavendish TD Bank. "It is important to remember that every effort counts, big or small. And getting involved is the first step towards preserving our environment. The Côte Saint-Luc demonstration garden proposes ideas and activities that we can do that will make a difference.``

 


Steve Coplan's view of Côte Saint-Luc's beautiful greenery

The fall season is now upon us and sadly that means we must say goodbye to the beautiful greenery within our midst. Coplan

Longtime Côte Saint-Luc resident Steve Coplan  (left), a prominent chartered accountant and partner with the West End firm of Levy Pilotte, also has some hidden talents in photography. He provides us with these beautiful pictures which will be nice to look at as we prepare for another wicked winter of snow and slush.

 

 

 

 

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New waste bylaw encourages recycling

Blue-bin-silhouette A new City of Côte Saint-Luc by-law (2302) obliges apartment owners to offer recycling services to residents and consolidates rules about recycling, hazardous waste, organic waste and other types into one simplified by-law.

“There have been many positive changes in the last few years, such as the voluntary expansion of recycling to apartments and the launch of organic waste collection in single-family homes and duplexes,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “This new by-law is an indication of the city council’s desire to manage waste materials generated on our territory in an environmentally respectful manner.”

The collection days are not changing. However, the new collection times for garbage collection, recycling collection and organic waste collection is 7am to 7pm. If waste is placed in a rigid, tightly-covered receptacle (brown bin, blue bin or covered garbage can—not plastic bags) then residents can put it on the curb starting at 10pm the night before.

“Residents who previously were forced to wake up early to put their garbage on the curb now have the ability to seal it in a proper container and put it out the evening before,” said Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, the council member responsible for public works. “We think this is a reasonable given the fact that the collection begins at 7am.”

The by-law includes provisions to fine, however the city wants to first educate and encourage residents to sort their waste.

“Our goal as a city isn’t to fine residents or look through people’s garbage,” said Councillor Dida Berku, the council member responsible for environmental issues. “We want people to do their best and make an effort to divert more of their household to their blue bins and brown bins. The city is providing a way for residents to properly dispose of all the different kinds of waste. It is up to residents to take advantage of this service and do the right thing.”

Highlights for residents of single-family homes and duplexes

  • Residents must place their recyclables into the covered blue bins being delivered this spring.
  • Leaves and other garden waste must be placed in brown bins, paper bags or certified compostable bags. The organic-waste-collection trucks will not collect organic waste in plastic bags and the garbage trucks will not collect garden waste.
  • Household hazardous waste and household appliances—such as paint cans, batteries, televisions and so on—will not be collected and must be dropped off at the Public Works yard depot.
  • Bulky waste (such as couches and mattresses) and construction waste will not be collected in the regular garbage collection, however residents can call the city to arrange a collection for a fee or use of the private bulk waste collection companies.
  • The city has the authority to reduce or suspend collection of garbage, recycling or organic waste if the resident—after repeated warnings—does not sort items correctly.


Highlights for residents of apartments and condominiums

  • Apartment/condominium owners are obliged to offer recycling collection services to its residents.


Highlights for commercial establishments and institutions

  • Commercial establishments and institutions must begin recycling by March 2010.


The by-law to regulate the collection and disposal of waste materials (By-law 2302) was passed unanimously by the city council at the March 16, 2009 meeting. A copy of the by-law is available at the Archives counter of city hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd.) or at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/en/Bylaws.


Meadow Fest

Meadow_fest

While there is no sign of any plans to build homes on Meadowbrook Golf Course, greenspace activists in Côte Saint-Luc and Montreal West continually keep everyone aware of the fact that one day the owners of the land could try to close the links in favor of development. On August 23 they held an event at Richard Schwartz Park they called Meadow Fest. There was live music, information kiosks, some vendor tables and lots of community spirit. I must say that I was disappointed with the turnout. It was a gorgeous day and there was plenty of publicity, yet the gathering was sparse. I really do no think that the future of Meadowbrook is truly on the radar screen of most residents. In the photo Councillor Dida Berku and I shared a moment with some of the event organizers, with Dida holding up a map of the golf course.


Organic Waste Collection

I attended an open house  August 20   at city hall where we unveiled our curbside organic waste collection program, which starts in mid-October with all 4,798 single-family homes and duplexes. Since townhouses, high rise condominiums and apartment buildings will not be part of this first phase of the program, the only District 2 residents to be affected by this will be those on Ilan Ramon Crescent.  Beginnng October 20 Ilan Ramon homeowners will have their garbage picked up on Mondays and organic waste on Thursdays.  Recycling pickup will remain on Tuesdays.

I wish to give credit to Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Dida Berku, along with our staff in Public Works, for spearheading this project, which was launched a year ago in 500 homes.  Instead of separating garbage two ways (recycling and garbage), participants will now separate it three ways (recycling, garbage, and organic waste) and will receive a new brown bin container and small kitchen collector.

Diverting organic waste to compost facilities (and paper, plastic, glass and aluminum to recycling plants) will save Côte Saint-Luc money as dumping garbage becomes most costly.  We had a good turnout at the meeting. I can say that most of the town houses, condos and apartment buildings in District 2 are already on board in terms of recycling.  And they will become part of the organic waste collection in due time.

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Dangerous Domestic Waste Dropoff is Sunday

The annual household hazardous waste collection takes place in Côte Saint-Luc on Sunday, August 17 from 9am to 5pm beside the Public Works building at 7001 Mackle Rd.

Common hazardous items include fluorescent light bulbs (including compact florescent lights), batteries, paint and solvents, pesticides, cleaning products, aerosol cans, motor oil, gasoline, expired medication, thermometers, used computers and electronic equipment and empty propane tanks.

At last year’s event, we collected a record 6.5 tonnes of household hazardous wasteé Since taking office in 2006, our city council has introduced recycling in more than 90 percent of apartment buildings, launched an organic waste collection pilot project, switched to low-sulphur diesel fuel in our vehicle fleet, adopted an anti-idling bylaw, created a permanent electronic waste depot and more. We are moving the city in the right direction on many eco-friendly fronts and we ask residents to do their part too.

Residents should not mix different household hazardous materials. Please follow any instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels, and when possible, bring items tightly sealed in original containers without removing the labels. Place any container that cannot be tightly closed in a sealed plastic bag.

Used electronic equipment will also be accepted during the collection. If you can not attend this collection day, you can drop off hazardous waste at any of Montreal’s Eco-centres. For more information visit the City of Montreal’s website, www.ville.montreal.qc.ca or call 514-872-3517.

Residents can also dispose of regular batteries and rechargeable batteries at the Public Works building (7001 Mackle Rd.), weekdays from 8am to 4pm, or at other municipal buildings shortly.