Alberta launches milk container deposit program
Efforts aim to achieve an 85 percent recycle rate

Changes to the Alberta’s beverage container recycling program are intended to encourage residents to return empty milk containers to one of more than 200 collection sites in the province. New regulations make Alberta the first province in Canada to accept all milk cartons at bottle depot locations, and to increase refunds on containers already in the program.

With an average of two billion beverage containers sold in Alberta yearly, 500 million containers are not returned to a bottle depot for recycling. As part of the provincial “Too Good to Waste” strategy, Alberta’s goal is to increase recycling rates to 85 percent or higher, up from the current rate of 75 percent.

Under the updated program, Albertans will pay a deposit on all milk containers and will be able to drop off the containers at any Alberta bottle depot. The deposits on all beverage containers, including milk containers, will increase to Cn$.10 for containers one liter and under and Cn$.25 for containers greater than one liter. This is the first deposit increase in over 20 years.

The deposit and option to return milk containers to Alberta bottle depots goes into effect June 1, 2009. Milk containers will continue to be recycled through community recycling programs until then. The deposit increases on all containers currently accepted at Alberta bottle depots, including pop, juice, beer, wine and spirit containers went into effect November 1.