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
Circular cities and regions in Canada: exploratory analysis of policy instruments and territorial and political-administrative conditions inherent in various circularity strategies

Description

This project is led within the context of the latest report by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement, entitled L'état des lieux et la gestion des résidus ultimes, which identifies circular economy as the first strategy to implement to reduce ultimate waste in Québec.

Based on an approach rooted in urban geography and political science, it aims to develop operationalizable tools for the design and implementation of area circular economy initiatives by local and regional governments. With these tools, cities will not only be able to identify optimal areas of excellence adapted to their particular territorial contexts but also target public interventions (e.g., zoning) to create conditions conducive to the circularity initiatives they seek to set in motion.

The project explores the key question of the processes, policies and instruments that could enable cities and regions to design and deploy circular economy policies tailored to their spatial and socio-economic contexts.

Themes

  • Circular city
  • Circular region
  • Governance
  • Local circularity policies
  • Regional circularity policies

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 4: Policy levers

Collaborators

Pénélope Regnier-Sakamoto

UQAM

Amount granted

$15,000
Synthesis of knowledge on urban metabolism and urban experimentation approaches for the territorial expansion of the circular economy

Description

Owing to their demographic weight, potential for action and concentration of infrastructures, activities and stakeholders, cities constitute strategic arenas for the transition to the circular economy (CE). However, the expansion of CE on an urban scale requires the transformation of the means of collective action.

First, there must be a new reading of the territory to quantify and characterize the resource flows within it. With that in mind, urban metabolism (UM) provides conceptual and methodological tools for territorial diagnosis and strategic design.

Second, governance approaches are required to stimulate circular innovations that may serve as transitional trajectories. In this context, urban experimentation derived from transition management constitutes a tool to mobilize stakeholders, innovation and systemic change.

Based on a review of scientific and grey literature and interviews, the synthesis of knowledge involves three components:

  1. Identify urban collective actions (policies, urban projects, etc.) in CE that mobilize UM in North America and Europe.
  2. Identify strategies to scale up urban experiments in CE.
  3. Categorize the characteristics and impacts of a crossover between UM and experimentation to implement urban CE strategies.

Themes

  • Circular city
  • Innovation
  • Transition management
  • Urban circular economy
  • Urban experimentation
  • Urban metabolism

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Axis 4: Policy levers

Collaborators

Philippe Genois-Lefrançois

Doctorant UdeM

Martial Vialleix

Doctorant Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne

Amount granted

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