Waste management: Le Groupe Maurice has a plan!


Waste management is a massive social issue that requires time, energy and reflection. As the owner of several residences in Quebec, Le Groupe Maurice is highly concerned about the amount of waste it generates. Despite the adoption of some sound habits, new environmental regulations in certain municipalities has forced the company to revisit the way it thinks and acts. We met with Marc Ouimet, Assistant Vice-President, Operations and Related Services, to talk about his plan.


Waste management: an obligation to do better

Waste management has been a concern for Le Groupe Maurice’s managers, employees and residents for many years now.

“Although garbage is hardly a sexy topic, we have to think about it, because we produce waste every day. In my opinion, we were doing a very good job of recycling cardboard, glass, metal… But we weren’t doing enough to recover biodegradable waste,” explains Marc Ouimet.

However, the recent construction of the VAST retirement residence has changed all that. The City of Sainte-Julie has implemented sustainable development measures that require the installation of facilities for the collection of organic waste. This obligation led Le Groupe Maurice to ask new questions.

“We realized that we could try to create a circular economy, where waste finds a second, third or even fourth life instead of ending up in a landfill. It was an opportunity we had to seize,” continues Marc Ouimet.



Quantity of waste per resident: 295 kg/year

Rate of recycled materials: 85%

Rate of diverting organic materials from technical landfills: 17%

Rate of contamination of recyclable and organic materials: 1%



Step 1 – Survey residents on their interest in waste collection and sorting

But first, Le Groupe Maurice had to find out how receptive residents were to waste sorting. We therefore surveyed the population of four residences: Borea, Station East, ORA and VAST.

“We were pleased to find that 90% of residents were already recycling. Personally, I was surprised! I think it’s amazing that residents and Le Groupe Maurice employees have it in their DNA. This statistic alone made us optimistic about implementing an organic waste sorting system.”

Step 2 – Get a picture of the situation and extrapolate the data

After analyzing the data, Mr. Ouimet and his team decided to conduct a characterization study to determine the nature of the materials that residents and employees were throwing away. This study took place at VAST.

“We felt there was a keen interest in this residence. It must be said that the people of Sainte-Julie are already accustomed to selective collection.”

To accomplish the work, Le Groupe Maurice hired the engineering consulting firm Eurêka Environnement, which specializes in the management of residual materials. This company, which is made up of engineers and technologists, offers its support to private and public organizations with regard to the recovery of residual materials.

“We installed a sorting centre in the VAST residence garage, and the experts from Eureka Environnement analyzed the waste. This exercise showed that the residents and employees of Le Groupe Maurice were highly meticulous. Sorting is really the key to selective collection,” says Marc Ouimet.

Step 3 – Develop and implement a waste management plan

Eurêka Environnement’s work will allow the development and implementation of a waste management plan for all Le Groupe Maurice residences.

“At the moment, not all cities require selective waste collection and recycling of residual materials. However, the time will come when they will have to put rules and programs in place because of the targets set by the government. At Le Groupe Maurice, we like to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s up to us to take the bull by the horns and propose solutions to municipalities, which are key players in the management of residual materials and their recovery. In short, we need to work together to create a circular economy. Here, we’re bursting with ideas. And we’re full of enthusiasm.”

In the coming years, Le Groupe Maurice will focus on implementing means to facilitate the recovery and reuse of residual materials in its current and future residences.

“Obviously, this is not a race. It’s not a destination either. It’s a journey that’s going to be part of our lives, but I think we’re there. We have to keep up with it to stay current. Of course, every home is different. Every municipality is different. We’ll have to adapt to their reality. Our role is to listen and to integrate waste management into our practices. It’s one of our commitments and it’s extremely important to us,” concludes Marc Ouimet.


For more information, watch the video (in French only)