A Brief History of Island Return It

“The Earth should not be celebrated just one day a year, this is an ongoing mindset”.

“This is more than a business; to us it is a lifestyle”.

For this Earth Month edition of our blog, we decided to talk about our favorite topic…us!  As a local service that actively promotes and facilitates green living, we’re proud to tell you a little bit about ourselves and why we’re so committed to the environment.

In 1995, Louis Spronken started a pilot project that became the Cowichan Valley Bottle Depot. He felt that people would appreciate being able to return their cans and bottles to a convenient, clean and well-organized depot. He was right. We have since expanded to Esquimalt, Campbell River, South Cowichan and Salt Spring Island, staying true to the vision of keeping the recycling process as simple and straightforward as possible. After Louis passed away, his son Vince took over operations. Vince is passionate about about reducing, reusing, and of course recycling – so much so that he was named a Zero Hero by Zero Waste Cowichan.

In 2013, after numerous conversations with customers and staff, we decided to change our name to Island Return It Recycling Centres to reflect the variety of recycling services we offer today and those we hope to add in the future. We are much more than a bottle depot, and now recycle electronics, small appliances, light bulbs and lamps, power tools, batteries, flammable liquids, and paint…all for FREE. And of course, we pay full refund for all bottle and cans, even beer products and drink boxes.

Having an holistic sense of sustainability means that we are just as committed to our local community as we are to the environment. Island Return It supports local charities and community groups dedicated to helping people help themselves. We support Cowichan Green Community, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Cowichan Sportsplex, just to name a few. 

We have also streamlined the process for charitable organizations to open accounts with us. All it takes is a quick phone call and people can start donating their sorted refundables to your group to collect the refund rather than taking it themselves. Completely FREE and ridiculously EASY.  The same goes for bottle drives…just give us a call and we will help you get organized and even provide materials free of charge. 

These are just a few examples of how by making the recycling experience positive and convenient for our customers, we hope that we are able to encourage more individuals to do their part by recycling, which benefits all of us both locally and globally.

Island Return it Recycling Centres – recycling today for a better tomorrow.