Office furniture recovery in Québec: constraints and prospects for improvement from a circular perspective

Description

The project will assess the system to recover and reclaim office furniture in Québec by evaluating initiatives, identifying stakeholders and creating an inventory of furniture types and their characteristics.

The obstacles and levers to the development of an office furniture recovery sector will also be identified.

National and international monitoring of the end-of-life management of office furniture and related business models will also be carried out.

Themes

  • Furniture industry
  • Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA)
  • Recovery
  • Sector characterization
  • SME
  • State of the art

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Collaborators

Nicolas Pearson

INOVEM

Amel Hadj-Bouazza

INOVEM

Amount granted

$15,000
Simplification and adaptation of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) for SMEs

Description

The use of MFCA can yield many benefits for businesses, including better evaluation and understanding of the costs related to material inefficiencies, greater emphasis on the economic gains of minimizing waste and production losses and the identification and prioritization of the actions to be undertaken (e.g., input substitution, process modification, internal recycling and the sale of by-products to increase profitability). As a tool, MFCA also has the power to convince business leaders to address environmental issues.

While MFCA is relevant, it requires the detailed modeling of the material flows within a business. The tool entails energy-intensive data collection and a thorough knowledge of production costs. The analysis therefore requires time, resources and expertise that are not always available in-house.

With that in mind, the research project aims to develop a simplified MFCA methodology to be used by SMEs and demonstrate the benefits and impacts of using simplified MFCA.

Themes

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA)
  • Prioritization
  • Processes
  • Production costs
  • Profitability
  • Recycling
  • Small Business
  • SME
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Collaborators

Julien Beaulieu

CTTEI

Amount granted

$15,000
Modelling the environmental impacts of the life cycle of an emerging economic model: the product-service system

Description

Because the product-service system is still new, there has yet to be any quantitative modelling of the expected life cycle environmental benefits of the concept applied to a territory. As such, there are no standards or guidelines on how a quantitative assessment should be conducted, and consideration of the development of a robust methodology to assess the life cycle environmental impact is needed. The project provides an opportunity to explore new ground to inform the development of the product-service system.

The initiative stems from a collaboration between LIRIDE and EFC Québec to develop a model to assess the environmental benefits (GHG, etc.) of the product-service system (one of the principles of a circular economy), as well as expand the literature and apply the developed methodology to at least one concrete case.

Themes

  • Economy of functionality
  • Environmental impact
  • Life cycle analysis

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Collaborators

Léontine du Réau

LIRIDE

Sylvain Cordier

UdeS

Amount granted

$15,000
Recycling plastic accessories produced by 3D printing used in the context of radiation oncology

Description

The project seeks to gain more basic knowledge of the recyclability of the plastic used in a medical context. By focusing on the particular context of 3D printed boluses for radiation therapy in cancer patients, the initiative will assess the influence of recycling processes and radiotherapy treatments on the structure and properties of the material (PLA, polylactic acid) before it is reused in treatment.

The project has three sub-objectives:

  1. Determine the extent to which repeated shredding-extrusion-3D printing shaping affects the properties of PLA.
  2. Determine the influence of radiation treatment (i.e., repeated application of high-energy photons or electrons) and the regular application of cleaning agents on the polymer’s properties.
  3. Evaluate the combined effect of shaping and radiotherapy treatment on the recyclability of PLA.

Themes

  • Medical community
  • Plastic
  • Polymer
  • Processes
  • Recycling

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Member(s)

  • Lucas Hof

    Professor
  • Nicole Demarquette

    Ph.D. Professor

Collaborators

Stéphane Bedwani

CHUM

François De Blois

CHUM

Karim Zerouali

CHUM

Amount granted

$15,000
Development of a metal-infused recyclable raw material for low-cost 3D printing in the context of circular manufacturing

Description

The project focuses on the development of a new recyclable 3D printing feedstock for low-cost printers.

It explores the unique reaction of nickel and iron with carbon monoxide, which form nickel and iron carbonyl, respectively, to provide an ideal mechanism to recycle the metals, as well as nickel- and iron-based products.

The research aims to develop metal-infused recyclable filaments with high concentrations of nickel and iron carbonyl powders to make functional and resistant metal parts using widespread, low-cost 3D printing processes such as fused filament fabrication.

Themes

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Iron
  • Metals
  • Nickel
  • Processes
  • Recycling

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Member(s)

Collaborators

Vladimir Paserin

VPM Research inc.

Daria Strugova

ETS Montréal

Amount granted

$15,000
Fast fashion: destruction of unsold items and public

Description

The proposal takes a broad look at the phenomenon of fast fashion (FF) and, more specifically, at the destruction of unsold inventory by retailers. It considers the upstream decisions that are responsible for the harmful practices and the lack of circular end-of-life options for unsold goods. The theoretical model that is developed will explore how public policy influences the environmental impact of FF.

The project is in follow-up to the confirmation of the linearity of the apparel sector and additional burden created by FF and reinforces the need to develop a model of mechanisms and incentives that can have a positive impact on decision-making by retailers with respect to their unsold inventories.

Themes

  • Circular economy
  • Consumer awareness
  • Consumer behavior
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable consumption and supply
  • Textile circularity

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Axis 4: Policy levers

Amount granted

$15,000
New approaches in contracts and environmental regulations to implement a circular supply chain in spring street sweeping

Description

Every year, northern countries purchase and spread mineral abrasives (sand and crushed stone) on their road networks as part of their winter maintenance operations. The 31,000 km overseen by the Ministère des Transports du Québec require an average of 1 million tonnes of abrasives annually. In the spring, a portion of the abrasives is collected during road sweeping operations. Subject to strict environmental regulations, most of the material that is recovered is landfilled. Considering the negative financial and environmental impacts of landfilling, the technical feasibility of conditioning recovered abrasives for reuse in winter maintenance operations was demonstrated at the local level by screening the residual material. Part of the collected material (sweepings) could therefore be reused as abrasives through the implementation of a circular economy strategy that would curb landfilling and the consumption of non-renewable virgin mineral resources.

The project aims to review the flow maps of the circular chain based on the regulatory approach of a recovery centre in the construction, renovation and demolition sector and propose new and equitable contractual approaches for the circular chain.

Themes

  • Circular city
  • Circular region
  • Governance
  • Innovation
  • Local circularity policies
  • Recovery
  • Residual materials
  • Urban experimentation
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Axis 4: Policy levers

Collaborators

Karine Bouchard

Biopterre

Florence Blouin

UQTR

Bechir Ben Daya

UQTR

Amount granted

$15,000
Analysis and optimization of networking and energy co-product recovery opportunities in Bécancour’s industrial park and port

Description

Bécancour’s industrial park and port are home to 11 industrial enterprises and more than 15 service companies. Collectively, they use a number of energy sources for their industrial processes and heating. Some also generate energy locally as a main product or co-product. It is possible to decarbonize this energy consumption through various circular economy strategies, including process optimization and the local reuse of waste heat, as well as the establishment of local energy co-product exchanges and joint infrastructures for co-product sharing.

Rooted in industrial ecology, the strategy involves the identification and implementation of industrial synergies within a park, territory or region to spark a culture of industrial by-product recovery, collaboration and resource sharing within industrial symbioses. The technical and economic analysis and eventual optimization of the options to implement the opportunities require a more comprehensive view of the networking possibilities for local stakeholders and a more local perspective to ensure stakeholders’ long-term participation. In the case of industrial synergies involving pooling or joint investments, the participation of all stakeholders is required.

The overarching objective is two-fold. The first is scientific and relates to the development of a mixed integer linear programming model to optimize the opportunities for synergies and industrial networking within an industrial park. The second is practical and relates to the realization of a technical and economic study of the opportunities to decarbonize the energy sources used in Bécancour’s industrial park and port.

Themes

  • Decarbonization
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Industrial ecology
  • Operations Optimization
  • Processes

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Collaborators

Léo Lamy-Laliberté

Polytechnique Montréal

Amount granted

$15,000
The RRECQ is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Fonds de recherche - Québec