Why Didn’t I Get A Deposit Refund?

Why Didn’t I Get A Deposit Refund?

Have you ever had an experience like this:

You arrive at your local Island Return It Recycling Centre with a load of empty bottles and cans to recycle. Once you’ve sorted them, you bring them up to the counter where a staff member counts them and tallies up your refund.

Except, first she pulls a few cans out and explains that while she can recycle them, there is no deposit on them to refund.

You most likely felt confused and bewildered. 

In this blog post, I would like to explain why some cans have deposits and some do not.

It’s not a matter of international borders (we don’t discriminate), it has nothing to do with individual bottle depots or recycling centres and it most certainly is not a preferential thing either. However please keep in mind: this information applies only to B.C. recycling centres.

It’s much simpler than that. Whether or not you get a deposit refund depends on whether or not you paid a deposit in the first place. Not all ready to drink beverage containers are automatically sold with deposit fees. FYI, as an example of beverages sold without deposit fees, you should not be paying a deposit for milk products.

Pepsi is a Registered Beverage Product

Pepsi is a Registered Beverage Product

Faygo is a non-registerd beverage product

Faygo is a Non-Registered Beverage Product

The drink manufacturer or distributor must first register their product with Encorp Pacific (Encorp Pacific is a non-profit organization in charge of the beverage container stewardship program) so that retailers can charge a deposit and authorized Return It facilities can  refund that deposit. You see, the deposits on registered beverage containers act as an incentive for you, the consumer, to recycle the bottles and cans. When you bring your empty containers back to an authorized Return It depot you receive your original deposit back. In addition to the deposit there is also a small environmental fee that is not refunded and that money is what helps pay for the recycling process such as collection, transport and processing.

We can still recycle non-registered containers for you (we would be happy to) there just isn’t a deposit to refund.

It can be confusing, yes, but that is why Returnit.ca regularly updates and releases a list of registered brands.

We hope that that helps clear up some confusion about deposit refunds, if you have a favourite beverage that isn’t on the list of registered brands you can still recycle the container at Island Return It and you can also suggest to the manufacturer to get their product listed! Remember, everything we do today matters.

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