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As we head into the busy summer season for depots in Alberta, it’s a great time to look at the notable difference it can make to a depot’s bottom line if you work with your community to promote the return of beverage containers for recycling and a refund.
While Calgary and area has a larger population than the Edmonton region, beverage container returns in that city and its surrounding communities are about 15% lower.
The Calgary region includes 22 depots in the city and one each in Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane. With a population of 1.3 million, just over 51,500 people are served per depot. The 25 depots in Calgary and area collected almost 570 million beverage containers in 2015, or about 442 containers per person.
The Edmonton region includes 19 depots in the city, two each in Sherwood Park and St. Albert, and one each in Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Beaumont. The 28 depots serve a population of just over 1.1 million – that’s slightly more than 39,000 people served per depot. In 2015, close to 575 million containers were returned for recycling and a refund in the Edmonton region, approximately 522 containers per person (80 more than Calgary and area).
When the handling commissions paid to depots are factored in, the lower number of container returns in the Calgary region means those depots are potentially missing out on $3.3 million in handling commissions!
What better incentive to encourage Calgarians especially, but all Albertans, to return their empty beverage containers to their local depot for a refund. Increased returns mean more money for both depots and their customers, not to mention the environmental benefits of keeping additional containers out of landfills.