• Jules-Pierre Malartre

NDIP launches environmental initiative


(Left to right): Jean-Marie Pelletier, Joint Director, Le Carrefour de l’Espoir; Danie Deschênes, NDIP Mayor; Huguette Lafrance Ouellet, Joint Director, Le Carrefour de l’Espoir; and Jean A. Lalonde, MRC Prefect and Très-Saint-Rédempteur Mayor.

Starting May 1, Notre-Dame-del’Île- Perrot (NDIP) is launching a valorization project that will give a second life to its residents’ undesired, yet still useful, bulky items such as furniture and appliances. The 12-month pilot project is a cooperative effort with the Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC and Le Carrefour de l’Espoir. Space in Quebec landfills is fast becoming a scarce commodity, and recycling, reclaiming, and reusing items otherwise treated as waste has become an imperative.

“The Vaudreuil-Dorion Ecocentre presently accepts cumbersome objects that are non-functional, or that cannot be reused, but there is no plan for objects that can be reused. Thanks to this project, NDIP will valorize a much broader range of objects while at the same time making a social gesture that will also be beneficial to the environment,” commented Jean A. Lalonde, Prefect of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC and Mayor of Très- Saint-Rédempteur, during the April 28 launch event.

Instead of being disassembled or destroyed for the individual components, the collected items will be processed for a secondary market by Le Carrefour de l’Espoir, a social community organization that helps underprivileged residents obtain furniture and other household necessities. Le Carrefour de l’Espoir seeks to recuperate furniture and appliances no longer needed by their owners and give them a new vocation. The NDIP program will therefore not only serve to dispose of unwieldy articles that do not make their way to the Ecocentre, but it will also provide Le Carrefour de l’Espoir will an additional source of supply of still useful appliances and furniture.

The one-year pilot project will provide the data required to evaluate the social benefits, as well as the economic and environmental impacts, of this initiative. Lalonde underlined NDIP’s novel approach to the valorization of items that can still be reused. The project therefore will be a strong addition to the MRC’s and Ecocentre’s mission. Lalonde hopes this project will become a model for other municipalities that wish to do more to reduce the amount of waste that go into landfills.

“This project brings grist to the wheel of our cause, commented Huguette Lafrance Ouellet, Joint Director of Le Carrefour de l’Espoir. Lafrance Ouellet also mentioned her organization suffers from a shortage of large appliances including stoves and refrigerators, and is grateful for this program that might help fill that demand.

NDIP Mayor Danie Deschênes feels the project is an important complement to the Ecocentre. “The Carrefour de l’Espoir really does two things: valorization and providing work for those who really need it. It has significant added value. “It is clear that this initiative started with the fact that we have many residents who cannot get rid of their larger items.

The Ecocentre does not offer pick-up services. We were facing a situation where we would have to pick up the residents’ large items. This way, we are doing both philanthropy and valorization,” Deschênes added. Deschênes feels that distance from the Vaudreuil-Dorion Ecocentre might be a factor in the lack of participation of NDIP residents, but she also mentioned that some of the population is relatively older and lacks the equipment necessary to transport large items to the Ecocentre. Deschênes commented that removal of larger items in NDIP remains an issue since the service offer remains unfulfilled.

“Cumbersome waste items are not all picked up at this time. There are those residents who can bring their items to the Ecocentre, but for those residents who lack the means to do so, the municipality is presently reviewing a project using removal services for hire.” Given the lower participation rate of NDIP residents to the Ecocentre,

Deschênes feels it is important to offer that additional service. The project is expected to go live sometime this summer. The project between the MRC, NDIP and Le Carrefour de l’Espoir received financing in the amount of $40,000 from the Pact rural, the development fund for community-based projects.

Le Carrefour de l’Espoir is located at 235 rue Saint-Joseph in Vaudreuil-Dorion, and it can also be reached by email at lecarrefourdelespoir@videotron. ca. Information on the Vaudreuil-Dorion Ecocentre can be found on the MRC’s website (http://www.mrcvs.ca/ en/mrc-de-vaudreuil-soulanges-ecocenter).

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