Disposing of construction debris and bulky objects responsibly

Last updated November 1, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

Do you need to dispose of wood trimmings, melamine furniture, mattresses or materials that contain a mix of metal, fabric and plastic? The Saint-Laurent and LaSalle ecocentres have been optimized for repurposing certain recovered materials.

Optimizing the two ecocentres, a pilot project that was made possible by Recyc-Québec, will make it easier to sort construction, renovation and demolition debris as well as certain bulky objects.

Which materials go to which ecocentre?

The LaSalle and Saint-Laurent ecocentres were chosen because of available space and for logistical reasons.

Although these two centres are the only ones that were optimized, you can still bring construction and renovation debris as well as bulky objects to any Montréal ecocentre.

Wood and mattresses at the Saint-Laurent ecocentre

Natural wood (unpainted and undyed) and mixed wood (melamine, laminated wood, plywood, furniture, kitchen cabinets, tree felling wood, etc.) will be sorted for maximal recycling.

Mattresses and box springs will be dismantled and repurposed by specialized companies.

Dismantling items at the LaSalle ecocentre

Many objects that are brought to ecocentres, including children’s toys, baby car seats, chairs or stools, are made of a mixture of materials (plastic, metal, wood, ceramic, glass, etc.). This heterogeneous mixture makes it difficult to recycle and recover these objects  —  if not impossible.

A workshop was set up to dismantle the objects and recover each component.

This pilot project is taking place in ecocentres, but could be extended to all ecocentres in Montréal, depending on results.

What happens to recovered materials?

Better sorting of construction debris at the source makes teams’ jobs easier and diverts more materials from the landfill.


Unpainted or untreated lumber trimmings and raw wood pallets are recycled into particle board and can then be used in furniture and cabinet design.

Mixed wood is used for energy recovery.  This wood is used as an alternative fuel in cement kilns or pulp and paper mills.

Mattresses and box springs

Once dismantled, the components of mattresses and box springs are used for various purposes. Polyurethane or synthetic latex foams are ground. They usually become cushioning or thermal insulation materials and can sometimes be used to make items such as cushions or carpets.

The springs are recycled in steel mills. Mattress cover textiles are frayed to be recycled into insulation or used as fuel.

Multi-material objects composed of metal, plastic and/or wood

Metals are returned to the metal industry. They are remelted to create new metal products. Recovered plastic is used to design new containers, carpets, collecting bins and other materials (picnic tables, patio boards, park benches, etc.).

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