Albertans are especially good at recycling their beverage containers, but not everyone is sure how to do so right now. Below you'll find answers to key questions about recycling in this unprecedented time.
Are Alberta Depots open to the public and accepting beverage containers?
Yes, most depots in Alberta are open, though a few may have reduced hours or operation. Click here to find an open depot near you. While hours reported on the website are updated every 24 hours, you may also want to call your local depot first to ensure that it is open.
What precautions are being taken to ensure my safety?
Most depots have continued to operate since the pandemic began and are committed to the health and safety of customers and staff. Depots across Alberta have implemented many different measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While those measures may vary according to depot size and set up, they include things like social distancing, additional cleaning and sanitizing, the wearing of masks by staff, COVID signage and plastic barriers between customers and staff. When visiting a depot, please continue to follow all government recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes limiting depot visits to one person per family.
The beverage container recycling industry is also working closely with Alberta Health Services inspectors. Results of inspections have been very positive to date, and any issues are communicated to depots for follow up.
If I choose not to visit a Depot right now, what can I do with my beverage containers?
If you have the option, store your containers outside, preferably in a shed or garage. Give your containers a quick rinse to prevent wildlife or insects from being attracted to them. We recommend using a reusable and washable bag if you have one, or you can use a certified compostable bag. If you do not have an outdoor storage space, we recommend keeping your containers in a water-tight bin in the least-used location of your home.
If storing them is not an option for you, consider donating your containers to a local charity. The deposit value from empty beverage containers returned to a Depot can add up and is even more meaningful to non-profit and charitable groups during an economic downturn.
Why shouldn’t I just put my containers in the garbage right now to make things easy?
You’ve paid a deposit at the time of purchase and you’re throwing that money away. It’s best to keep your empty beverage containers and take them to an Alberta Depot. Containers are made from several different materials and are sorted by material type at the depot. By taking your beverage containers to a Depot, you are ensuring they maintain their highest value and can be turned into new products (including new beverage containers).
Beverage containers are made from high-quality materials that can be used again so they should be recycled and not end up in a landfill. Aluminum cans, for example, can be recycled an infinite number of times.
Will I still receive my full deposit (refund) on containers I have been saving?
The deposits you have paid will still be valid when the system resumes full operation. Once your local Alberta Depot is back up and running, you can return your empty beverage containers for a refund. Make sure to only bring back registered beverage containers that you have purchased in the province of Alberta. You can search for your product using the brand name or UPC code.
Will Depots be a lot busier right now with the province's relaunch strategy underway?
Depots may experience higher volumes of customers resulting in longer wait time. With social distancing requirements still in place and limits on the number of people allowed in a depot at one time, lines may be longer. Limiting your depot visit to one person per family will also help. All depots are working hard to provide quality and efficient service and will do their best to reduce any wait time.
We appreciate the understanding and patience of depot customers as staff take measures to ensure your safety and theirs. You may also want to call ahead to your depot to determine the best time to visit. Click here for depot contact information.