Return-It has unveiled some innovations to modernize its New Westminster beverage container recycling system.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Return-It has been adapting and evolving its system by reducing touch points while improving convenience. The province-wide, not-for-profit product stewardship organization is also using new transportation technologies to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with recycling.
The enhancements began Monday with the launch of a six-month pilot program at the Sapperton Return-It depot on Braid Street that aims to enable consumers to return both alcohol and non-alcohol aluminum beverage containers together for recycling – without having to sort – as one stream with one deposit amount.
The series of other initiatives being rolled out this year to modernize the beverage container recycling system for a greener future include:
- Expanding the number of Return-It Express Plus and solar-powered Express & GO contactless return stations around the province, including Vancouver Island, with new stations located in partnership with major retailers and shopping centres
- Implementing a 10-cent unified deposit for all beverage containers – starting this fall – to simplify the overall system and make it even easier for consumers to recycle all their beverage containers – regardless of the size
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of a hybrid compaction truck that will reduce the number of vehicles used to transport containers for processing
- Partnering with the Salvation Army to expand Return-It’s popular textiles collection program to safely drop off used clothing for recycling
- Introducing new automated sorting technologies and reverse-vending machines inside select Return-It depots to limit touch points in order to improve safety for depot employees and support the recycling experience
These and other initiatives are included in Return-It’s new Stewardship Plan which is up for consultation, and British Columbians are invited to share their feedback at www.returnit.ca/beverageplan2020.
In response to growing demand, this modernization program builds on the success of Return-It Express – a convenient, contactless and easy recycling experience that takes less than a minute. With refunds uploaded directly to a user’s online account, and redeemed via e-Transfer, Express doesn’t require any sorting or cash handling.
Return-It recycles over 1 billion beverage containers a year. Plus, every plastic container is responsibly recycled right here in B.C. and Alberta, where they’re cleaned and broken down into plastic pellets that can be used to make new plastic bottles.