Call the “valoristes”

Appelez-les des «valoristes»

Photo: Valerian Mazataud The Duty
The valoristes recover the returnable containers that they can bring back to convenience stores and supermarkets for a few dollars.

Following the footsteps of the borough of Ville-Marie, Plateau-Mont-Royal has begun to install on its arteries of trade of the bins in the street with a ring to allow for separating returnable containers for general waste.

The object seems trivial, but it is not for the ” valoristes “, these agents of the shadow who collect cans and bottles to make extra income.

“Waste should not exist. Everything should be reusable or recycled. This is my ideal, ” says Marica Vazquez Tagliero, Brazilian origin, which, in 2012, he co-founded the co-operative social economy Valoristes.

Although they are the object of an instruction, hundreds of bottles and cans are found every day in the bins of a street in Montreal, when they are not downright abandoned by earth.

Surfing on the crest of the city, the valoristes — to the difficult financial situation in many cases — to recover these containers, they can bring back to convenience stores and supermarkets for a few dollars. “It is a difficult job. We need to improve it to make it less difficult for them, ” says Marica. “We don’t want to see the waste. We don’t want to see who is working with the waste. “

It is precisely to facilitate the work of valoristes that the boroughs of Ville-Marie and Plateau-Mont-Royal have decided to adopt the ” garbage participatory “.

Councillor district of Jeanne-Mance, Maeva Vilain, said to have taken knowledge of the existence of the co-op after a citizen had called about the recycling bags are pierced by the valoristes. “We saw immediately the benefits of environmental and social valoristes “, she explains.

We don’t want to see the waste. We don’t want to see who is working with the waste.

— Marica Vazquez Tagliero

The borough has therefore undertaken to equip thirty-five public trash cans devices to facilitate the collection of the returnable containers. There will be fifteen on the boulevard Saint-Laurent, fifteen on the Mont-Royal avenue and five on the avenue of the Park.

Marica Vazquez Tagliero was in the green neighborhood of city center in 2003 when she began to receive calls from companies occupying office towers who complained about the lack of recycling bins for glass, metal and plastic. She then recruited a “valoriste” who was collecting cans and returnable bottles in a public trash container of the rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. Thus was born the Project Set, a collection service available to businesses.

The beginning of the adventure

Marica did not put time to see the potential of this model. Inspired by the work of Ken Lyotier, who created the social enterprise United We Can in Vancouver, she co-founded the co-operative Valoristes seven years ago.

Since 2014, the co-op installs a service deposit summer in the shadow of the Jacques-Cartier bridge. The valoristes from the four corners of the city can go to carry their daily harvest during the beautiful season without having to go through the machines in supermarkets and convenience stores, that are not always welcoming.

Last year, the co-op was able to recover valoristes 20 000 cans per day. She then takes care of returning the returnable containers to the bottlers and brewers.

The organization would like to have a site that would enable him to have a permanent repository is opened all the year. The Tray works on the project with the Ville-Marie borough, says the adviser Maeva Vilain.

Top Chrono

Denis, 58 years old, became a “client” and volunteer of the coop Valoristes in 2014. “I count 288 cans in 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Faster than a machine ! ” he says proudly.

Former military, he worked in the construction field for 25 years before ending up on the street for a few months. “But I didn’t like it “, take into to clarify.

Someone suggested to him to pick up cans to make a little money and go to the porter ” below the bridge “, as we nicknamed the coop Valoristes. It will eventually get there, and discovered a whole new support network.

“Stopwatch” — this is his nickname — knows all the tricks of the work of valoriste. It is said to be able to predict at what time of day it is necessary to proceed to such place in the city centre for a good harvest. But it takes great care not to reveal the amount they can do each day. “He threw 1.3 million bottles and cans per day in Quebec !” he said to illustrate the value that could be lost if the valoristes do watch not in the grain.

For years, many voices were raised in Quebec with a request for the enlargement of the deposit to bottles of wine. The minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, has promised to take a decision in this regard in the coming months.

As for the water bottles, Marica Vazquez Tagliero still believe they should not exist. “To abolish, it would be necessary to change attitudes. But we should be absolutely on the record, ” she said.

She remains optimistic because the movement zero waste is gaining ground in Quebec : “there are things that happen in this time. “