FAQs

What products are included in the Beverage Container Program?


The quick answer is all refillable and non-refillable containers that have a deposit applied. All alcoholic products sold in the liquor stores and ready to serve water and soft drink beverages sold in grocery and convenience store are included, if a deposit was paid.




Are milk and similar containers redeemable?


No, at present milk products are not redeemable as no deposit is paid at the time of purchase.




What about milk-like products?


If the first ingredient on the label is milk, it does not require a deposit. If the first ingredient on the label is water, then a deposit should be paid and subject to a refund.




Why does the consumer pay .10 cents to only get .05 cents in return?


The government has put the “rules” in place through legislation and regulation. We have a half-back system whereby you pay .10 cents and get back .05 cents. On alcohol containers, at or over 500 ml the deposit is .20 cents and a .10 cent refund. All Atlantic Provinces have a similar program.




What is the difference between a centre and a depot?


In NB, the place of return is called a redemption centre and in NS they are called enviro depots. We will refer to both as depots to answers further questions.




How much deposit money do the depots keep? How is it divided?


Depots do not keep any of the deposit. Government regulates them to provide the refund and are contracted to be paid a handling fee. If you pay a .10-cent deposit, you get back .05 cents from the depot. The program administrator keeps the other .05 cents plus all the unredeemed deposits. The administrator pays a handling fee to the depot for each container collected, sorted and shipped to a processing facility. Depots receive 4.3 cents for each container they handle.




Who are the program administrators?


In New Brunswick, the administrators are Encorp Atlantic on behalf of the soft drink industry and Rayan representing NB Liquor. In Nova Scotia, Divert Nova Scotia represents all containers except beer bottles.




Are beer bottles treated the same as all other beverage containers?


No beer bottles are treated separately. Domestic brewers, using the “industry standard bottle” are refillable. Refillable bottles have a full back system, you pay 10 cents and get 10 cents back. These bottles still get returned to depots for a full refund then get shipped back to the brewery for reuse. Brewers pay a handling fee directly to the depots.




Why can’t containers be redeemed if there is no label?


The label is the only way to identify the product and the province of purchase. Depots are penalized for non-program or out of province containers.




Can I purchase a product in, for example, NS and redeem it in NB?


No, while the programs are the same, only the province that collected the deposit is obligated to pay the refund.




Why can’t we recycle glass jars?


There is no deposit paid thus no refund. This is a beverage container program not a recycling program.




Why can’t we recycle tin cans?


There is no deposit paid thus no refund. This is a beverage container program not a recycling program.




What happens to the ones that get put out with the garbage? Doesn't the municipality get the revenue back to reduce overall costs for the municipality?


In NS, there is a ban on beverage containers going into the landfill. Most of the containers are pulled out due to a “triage” system in place. In NB, since there is no landfill ban, the culling out is hit and miss. Some solid waste commissions in NB do a better job than others. In both provinces the landfill operator is compensated for the containers culled.




Can damaged cans or bottles be returned? Why or why not?


It depends on the damage, the depot needs to be able to identify the product, ensure it is from their province in order to be compensated for the refund given to the customer and the handling fee. Much like the missing label, it is a matter of identification.




What is the difference between refillable, refundable and recyclable containers?


Great question!

Refillables go back to the bottler to be cleaned up and refilled. Brewers use this method to refill their glass beer bottles. Note, however, the brewer has to be in the region and be able to take the bottles back for refilling. Import or overseas brewers obviously can’t take their bottles back, thus they use the half-back bottle method.

Refundables are any container that attracts a deposit and is entitled to a refund, such as plastic water bottles, beer and pop cans, etc.

Recyclables are containers that are made of materials that can be recycled for further use of the original material. For example, jam jars can be crushed, and the glass reused.

The key to all the above is that refundables carry a deposit that can attract a refund to the consumer.




What happens if I put my recyclables in the blue bag? Do they go to the landfill?


Most recyclables put in Blue Bags are not landfilled.




How do Western Provinces treat beverage containers?


Many started out with a half-back system but moved to a full back system over time. The full back system out west also includes a container recycling fee (CRF) which is included in the purchase price of the beverage. Much like the price of beer, the handling fee paid to depots is included in the brewers price, but the customer still gets the full deposit upon return of the empties to the depot.




What are some groups/charities that would accept recyclables?


There are many community groups, youth groups, sports teams, etc. that use bottle drives to raise funds. Minor sports programs will use this method to fund raise as well. Many depots operate a charity box whereby you can simply drop off a bag of containers to fund raise for a charity, no waiting – just drop and go. Check with your local depot operator for opportunities in your area.





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