Which Beverage Containers Can Be Returned for a Refund at Your Depot?

Recycling beverage containers at your local Alberta Depot is great for the environment and your pocket. Not sure what kind of containers are accepted? Read on - by the end of this blog, you’ll be a refundable-beverage-container expert!

Which Container Types Can You Return?

Beverage container deposits are based solely on the size of the container and not the material they’re made from. There are two different deposit amounts:

  • beverage containers designed to hold 1 litre or less =  10 cent deposit per container
  • beverage containers designed to hold over 1 litre = 25 cent deposit per container

Recyclable containers Chart Green

All beverage containers sold in Alberta are part of the recycling system and may be made from many different materials including:

  • Aluminum - Soda, beer, energy drinks and more in cans
  • Clear Plastic Containers (PET) - water bottles, juice containers
  • Plastics - milk jugs, soda bottles
  • Glass - wine bottles, juice containers
  • Tetra Brik - milk/juice boxes, coconut water packs
  • Gable Top - milk cartons, litres of juice
  • Bi-Metal - small kegs, tomato juice & coconut water cans
  • Pouches -  juice pouches, boxed wine pouches

Don’t see your container type?

Your local Alberta Depot accepts 150,000 different types of beverage containers.  To find out if a container can be returned, enter the brand name or UPC code in the BCMB Portal Search.

Even though a container may say, “return for a refund where applicable” it may not be registered or eligible for a refund. On the other hand, some containers that are registered in Alberta don’t have a UPC (barcode) but are still recyclable. It pays to double-check!

What NOT to return:

  • Beverage containers that are not considered “ready-to-serve,” such as concentrate mixes, are not returnable.
  • Beverage containers purchased outside of Alberta are not returnable.
  • Recyclables that are not beverage containers such as yogurt containers, cooking oil, and windshield washer fluid containers are not returnable. To clarify on the Yogurt… Drinkable yogurt containers are returnable.

Only containers that have been purchased in Alberta and charged a deposit can be refunded at Alberta Depots. This is because the refund for beverage containers in Alberta is dependent on the deposit - refund cycle: a deposit is charged and then a refund paid when the container is returned. Any imbalance would be costly and put the system at risk.

TIP: If a container is registered for sale in Alberta, it will be labelled in English & French and the size will be indicated in ml or L.

Your Depot will sort and count your containers and then provide a refund with a printed receipt. Depots will gladly do the sorting for you, but for a faster return, you can count and presort containers by size (smaller-than and up-to 1L and larger than 1L) and by container type (glass, metal, plastic, juice boxes, etc.).

what can and cannot be recycledRecycling beverage containers helps maintain a healthy living environment and preserves this beautiful province for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. It also minimizes the raw materials and energy required for new products which can save as much as 671,861,402 KWh of energy annually - the equivalent of 93,314 Albertan households!

If you have any questions regarding recyclable beverage containers,  ask the experts at your local Depot or contact the BCMB at 1-888-424-7671 ext. 221/224.