The refund for non-alcohol beverage containers up to a litre in size rose on Nov. 1 from 5 cents to 10 cents each, when customers redeem them at depots province-wide.
The types of containers with an updated deposit include aluminum, plastic, drink boxes, gable top cartons often used for liquid products, glass, bi-metal, pouches and polystyrene cups.
While Regional Recycling Nanaimo General Manager Paul Shorting applauds the decision of Encorp Pacific, the not-for-profit stewardship agency responsible for managing B.C.’s Return-It beverage container system, to increase the deposit, he said it’s just a start.
“It’s an initiative to change people’s habits to recycle more beverage containers — that’s great,” Shorting said of the decision, which coincided with national Waste Reduction Week. “But a million beverage containers per day go missing in B.C., and we should be doing more for our environment, to keep them out of our waterways and landfills.”
Shorting was referring to a report conducted by the Ocean Legacy Foundation that was released this year, which also found 2.3 million caps go missing every day in the province.
He said Nanaimo has one of the highest recovery rates in the province for beverage containers, but there is still a percentage of residents who don’t recycle.
Further, he said residents who do recycle should consider keeping the revenue within the community.
Rather than placing used beverage containers in the curbside recycling, he said residents should consider bringing them to one of the Regional Recycling locations on Old Victoria Road or Hayes Road.
“The 10-cent containers people deposit in their recycling bins ends up being paid to a multinational company through a processor in the Lower Mainland,” he said. “Even though the customer may be doing the right thing to recycle, that revenue is leaving the city.”
Another way to keep refund money for containers in the city is by organizing or supporting a bottle drive, or local community groups.
Shorting said the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank Empties Recovery Program has deposit container donation bins at more than 20 locations in town. All of the proceeds the food bank earns from the recycling they collect goes to ensuring people in Nanaimo have access to healthy, nutritious food.
For a list of the locations where Empties 4 Food bins can be found, visit www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org/get-involved/empties-4-food.
Regional Recycling Nanaimo depots are located at 839 Old Victoria Rd. and 2375 Hayes Rd. The depots are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For answers to questions or for more information, call Regional Recycling at 1-855-701-7171, or email Paul@RegionalRecycling.ca to book a bottle drive.