LaSalle ecocentre remains closed, others have shorter hours as moving day looms

ST. LAURENT ECOCENTRE

After being closed for a month, St. Laurent ecocentre reopened a week ago just in time for the big moving day in just over two weeks.

But it's not known when the LaSalle ecocentre will be open again after closing in early May.

The closures resulted from a shortage of truck drivers for the new contractor. The old contractor was banned from working for the government for five years after allegations of waste dumping.

For Montreal mayor Valerie Plante, they had no choice but to shut down the LaSalle ecocentre.

"I definitely stand by my position that it was the right thing to do of not using Montrealers' money and giving in to companies that are being accused of doing bad practices," said Plante.

"We were working with a company that was recognized as having dumping practices, throwing garbage in the woods or the environment which is absolutely unacceptable."

The closures come during the busy moving and renovation season and have meant lineups at the remaining ecocentres in Côte-des-Neiges, RDP, Acadie, Rivière-des-Prairies, La-Petite-Patrie and Saint-Michel. The other ecocentres remain open but with different and reduced hours - the St.Laurent ecocentre has even shorter hours after reopening.

"We did find a short term solution but it's never what we want. A city wants to have structural long term solutions so we're working on it," said Plante.

The city is warning the centres could be overloaded as moving day approaches and may have to shut down periodically.

Montreal's executive committee has approved a $14M contract to Pro-Vert Sud-Ouest which will manage the seven ecocentres until 2024.

The current contract runs out this fall.