Recycle Your Beverage Containers

Beverage Container Recycling Program

Sometimes we can forget what really matters, so it’s great to be reminded.
Recycling beverage containers protects this place we love so much.

Recycling Protects the Environment

Every recycled container helps preserve natural resources and protect the air and water. Recycling:

  • Turns waste into a resource – Transforming material that would take years to break down in a landfill into new products.
  • Keeps waste out of landfills – Reprocessing used materials into new products reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.
  • Uses less energy – Producing new products using recycled materials uses less energy than using raw materials.
  • Conserves natural resources – Making products from used materials reduces the need to consume natural resources.
  • Reduces pollution – Making products from recycled material creates less pollution than making products from raw materials.

Recycling Helps Charities and Community Groups

Contact a local sports team, community group or charitable organization to learn more about donating your beverage containers.

Recycling Makes A Lot Of Cents!

When you purchase a beverage, you pay a deposit. When you return your used beverage containers to a Green Depot, you receive a refund. It all adds up.

Beverage Containers FAQs

Why do some Green Depots accept material, like paper, newspaper or cardboard, while others do not?

Green Depots are independently owned and operated businesses that are licensed by the MMSB to help carry out the Beverage Container Recycling Program. Some Green Depots, as a service to their customers, have provided bins for other recyclable material. These services are provided to the customer by the Green Depot and are separate from the licensing agreement between the Green Depot and MMSB.

Why do some Green Depots accept domestic beer bottles while others do not?

Green Depots are independently owned and operated businesses that are licensed by the MMSB to help carry out the Beverage Container Recycling Program. Because domestic beer bottles are not part of the Beverage Container Recycling Program, Green Depots are not paid a handling fee by the MMSB to collect these containers. As an added service to their customers, some Green Depots will accept domestic beer bottles (possibly at a reduced refund to cover their cost of handling the material).

Why can’t I return my domestic beer bottles to a Green Depot?

Local brewers operate their own deposit-refund system, and therefore, domestic beer bottles (such as Labatt and Molson) must be returned to a beer retailer or brewers bottle depot.

Why do I have to remove caps from my beverage containers?

There are a number of reasons why caps should be removed from containers before they are returned to a Green Depot. First, the repeated strain of removing caps can cause a health and safety issue for staff working at Green Depots. Second, when beverage containers are processed, they are compacted into large cubes, called bales. When caps are left on, air builds up inside containers, which can cause problems in the baling process. Third, caps are made of a different type of plastic than containers. Bales containing mixed plastic are of lesser quality and, therefore, have a lower market value.

Why can’t I crush / flatten my beverage containers?

There are a number of reasons why containers should not be crushed / flattened before they are returned to a Green Depot. First, beverage containers must be clearly identifiable by Green Depot operators and staff. Crushed / flattened containers are difficult to identify. Second, for the safety of staff working at Green Depots and processing facilities, there is a maximum amount of weight (number of containers) each bulk bag can accommodate. When containers are crushed / flattened, more containers fit into bulk bags, putting them over the acceptable weight limits. Third, when containers are processed, they are compacted into large cubes, called bales. Containers that have been crushed / flattened have very little memory left (i.e. they don’t bounce back into shape) so they do not adhere together when they are baled at our processing centres, resulting in inadequate bales that could be rejected by end markets.

Why can’t I remove labels from my beverage containers?

Green Depot operators and staff must be able to clearly identify the containers they receive to ensure they are included in the Beverage Container Recycling Program. For this reason, labels should be left on containers, wherever possible.

Are there any milk beverage containers that can be recycled?

Yes. Products that have the word beverage on the label such as vanilla milk beverage, soy milk beverage, rice milk beverage and almond milk beverage can be recycled through the Beverage Container Recycling Program.

Why are milk containers not included in the Beverage Container Recycling Program?

Milk is considered to be an essential nutritional food product, especially for children.  Therefore, government has taken the policy decision not to tax this product in any way, including applying a recycling deposit. For this reason, milk is not included in the Beverage Container Recycling Program. This also includes milk substitutes such as soy milk, rice milk and almond milk.

My non-profit group recycles to raise funds for our activities. Why doesn’t MMSB match the recycling funds we raise like they do for schools?

MMSB matches recycling refunds for the almost three hundred K-12 schools throughout the province as a way to help facilitate recycling at school and to help schools raise money to reinvest in environmental initiatives. Because there are so many non-profit groups doing great work in our province, MMSB is unable to extend matched refunds beyond K-12 schools.

What happens when I donate my beverage containers to a school or school account at the Green Depot?

Many schools collect recyclables through the School Recycling Program to raise funds. Schools collect refunds from the Green Depot and MMSB matches this amount, giving schools double the refund. Schools then reinvest a portion of this money back into environmental initiatives.

Can I donate my recyclables to a non-profit group?

Yes. Many non-profit groups collect beverage containers to raise funds. You can donate to non-profit groups by giving your beverage containers directly to the group or by putting your beverage containers on that group’s account at the Green Depot.

What is the relationship between the MMSB and the Green Depots?

Green Depots are independently owned and operated businesses that are licensed by the MMSB to help carry out the Beverage Container Recycling Program. Each Green Depot is paid by MMSB through a per-container handling fee. MMSB also provides support to the Green Depots through special funding opportunities and marketing initiatives. MMSB ensures consistency among Depots though our Green Depot Licensing Standards.

What happens to the deposit when recyclables are not returned to a Green Depot for a refund?

Beverage container deposits that are not refunded to the consumer are used to supplement the cost of running the Beverage Container Recycling Program. After that, surplus refunds are invested in the Waste Management Trust Fund, which is used to advance waste management in our province.

Why don’t I get the full amount of my beverage container deposit back?

A portion of the deposit you pay on beverage containers, 3 cents for non-alcoholic containers and 10 cents for alcoholic containers, pays for the cost of recycling, including administration, handling, transportation and processing costs.

What are the beverage container deposits and refunds?

You pay an 8 cent deposit on non-alcoholic beverage containers at the point of purchase and get a 5 cent refund when you return it to the Green Depot. For alcoholic beverage containers, you pay a 20 cent deposit and get a 10 cent refund.

 

About the Used Beverage Container Recycling Program

The Beverage Container Recycling Program is a deposit-refund system. When you purchase a beverage, you pay a deposit. When you return your used beverage container to a Green Depot, you receive a refund.

Since 1997, MMSB has operated a province-wide Used Beverage Container Recycling Program that is administered as a deposit-refund system in accordance with specific parameters established under Newfoundland and Labrador’s Waste Management Regulations.

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