The Recycling Centre is frequently asked why we don’t pay for beverage containers brought in for recycling like in Saskatchewan.
The simple answer is because no deposit was paid when the beverage was purchased so it can’t be returned.
On one occasion when I explained this, the person was surprised he paid a deposit when buying beverages in Saskatchewan. I’m not sure where he thought the money came from.
In Saskatchewan 16 cents is added to the cost of a pop or similar beverage. Ten cents is a deposit which is returned if the container is taken to a Sarcan depot. Six cents is a levy used to pay for the program.
In Manitoba and local Saskatchewan stores, a two cent levy is charged. It subsidizes recycling costs and provides free recycling bins for public places.
I sometimes question how effective the deposit system is. In Manitoba, beer containers can be returned to vendors for a deposit.
Many people bring their beer bottles and cans to the Recycling Centre. Some may be making a donation, but most are just not interested in getting their deposit back. Our staff also sees many beer containers in the Flin Flon landfill.
The Centre returned more than 65,000 beer containers last year.
It is difficult to say which system is better. Recycling rates for beverage containers are somewhat higher in Saskatchewan. Manitoba’s system is less expensive for people buying beverages.
One reality is some people take local containers to Sarcan. This cheats our recycling program and theirs. Sarcan pays deposits it did not receive when the beverage was purchased.
It lowers our recycling tonnage and reduces our recycling subsidy.
And it is illegal.
Note: Sometimes 285 words is not enough to say it all!
Local residents can return bottles from liquor purchased at the Liquor Store in Creighton to Sarcan as they do pay a deposit. They should keep their receipt to showing the deposit has been paid.