Recycling is a large and diverse topic, and as more Albertans are recycling more beverage containers some common questions arise. People want to know how they find their nearest Depot, why container recycling fees differ, which beverage containers are recyclable and refundable, or what happens to containers after they leave the Depot.
What is a container recycling fee (CRF) and why is it charged?
Beyond your fully refundable deposit, a non-refundable CRF may be applied at the point of purchase to cover the net costs in recycling beverage containers. The fee varies depending on the material the container is made from and the size of the container. Review the Container Recycling Fee Brochure for more information.
The CRFs are based on a not-for-profit formula used to fund the portion of system's operating costs (collection, transportation and marketing) that are not covered by unredeemed deposits and material revenues (i.e., the ‘salvage value’ of the containers). These fees are monitored on a regular basis and published each year, with the new fees usually coming into effect on February 1st.
Is the container recycling fee a form of government tax?
The beverage container recovery system in Alberta operates autonomously from government and does not receive funding of any kind from government.
Why do I pay the container recycling fee in some stores but not others?
Decisions by manufacturers to pass on the container recycling fee to retailers and by retailers to pass it to consumers are made independently. Some retailers choose to pass the fee on and show it on the receipt, and other retailers include it in the price of the product.