Bottle Bill Resource Guide

As of February 15, 2010, The Beverage Container Regulations under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act was amended to include all containers for milk and milk supplements excluding those with infant formula or milk products in containers less than 30ml. This page does not reflect those changes.

Name  Beverage Container Program (BCP)
Date Implemented Enacted 2003; Implemented 2005; Last Updated 2016
Beverages Covered All ready-to-drink beverages, excluding milk & liquid milk products in containers smaller than 30mL, infant formula, containers sold empty, open containers filled with a drink when sold.
Containers Covered Bottle, can, plastic cup or paperboard carton or a package made of metal, plastic, paper, glass or other material, or a combination of them [1]
Amount of Deposit 10¢ for ≤ 1 liter, 25¢ for > 1 liter. See table "Deposits and Hnadling Fees"
Reclamation System Privately owned and operated depots in 24 communities. The remaining six communities are serviced by satellite depots.
Handling Fee Depot Handling Fee: 2.2-4.5¢ 2
Processing Handling Fee: 2-4.5¢
Other Fees none
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by NWT Program success
Program Success

Return Rate 2016: [10]

Aluminum cans 84%
Non-refillable glass 100%
PET plastic bottles 84%
Other plastic bottles 84%
Bi-metal cans 64%
Gable-top/Aseptic packaging 62%
Total Non-refillables 83%
Refillable beer bottles 100%
Total containers 84%

Return Rate 2013-14: [3]

Total Return Rate: 88.2%
Aluminum Can: 92.7%
Glass: 81.7%
PET: 81.0%
Bi-Metal: 59.1%
Gable/ TetraPak: 61.4%



The Beverage Container Program (BCP), enacted on November 1, 2005, is the first program created under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act. Prior to implementation of the program over 30 million containers ended up in NWT landfills or as litter along the streets and highways each year.9

In order to sell beverages covered by the Recycling Regulations, distributors must register with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) are required to remit to a surcharge (consisting of a refundable deposit and a handling fee established in Schedule 1) in respect of each container entered into the market. Those fees are paid into the “Environment Fund.”8 The environmental fund then pays for the recycling of the materials returned.

Consumers return their beverage containers to licensed depots to receive their refunds. The BCP has a network of community depots that report to three regional processing centers which are located in Yellowknife, Hay River and Inuvik. The depots are operated by businesses, schools, community governments, and individuals. Depot operators deliver the empty containers to assigned processing centers. In addition to the handling fee, which pays for the transportation of the materials, depot operators and processing centers also receive the amounts established in Schedule 2. Materials returned are then sent to either Alberta or Vancouver.

The GNWT pays the processing centre operator. The payment includes the amount paid to the depot operator plus the handling fee for the processing centre operator. The GNWT pays to transport all containers from depots to processing centres. The GNWT also pays to transport refillable glass beer bottles from processing centres to Edmonton. Processing centre operators pay all other transport costs. The processing centre operator also pays the depot operator the refund and the depot’s handling fee for each beverage container.


The fees are set by Schedule 1 to the Regulations, and are as follows:


Deposit and Fees

Materials Refundable Deposit CRF Total Surcharge Per Container
Glass ≤ 1 Litre 10¢  13¢  23¢
Aluminum ≤ 1 Litre 10¢  8¢  18¢
Plastics ≤ 1 Litre 10¢  8¢  18¢
TetraPak/ Pouch/ Gable ≤ 1 Litre 10¢  5¢  15¢
Bi-Metal ≤ 1 Litre 10¢  5¢  15¢
Glass > 1 Litre 25¢  13¢  38 ¢
Plastics > 1 Litre 25¢  10¢  35 ¢
TetraPak/ Pouch/ Gable > 1 Litre 25¢  10¢  35 ¢
Bi-Metal > 1 Litre 25¢  10¢  35 ¢
Bag in Box > 1 Litre 25¢  10¢  35 ¢


1. Beverage Container Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 067-2005, s. 1(

2. "Waste Reduction and Recovery Act." Government of Northwest Territories, February 1, 2016.

3. "Deposit Systems for One-Way Beverage Containers: Global Overview 2016." CM Consulting Incorporated, May 25, 2017

6. N.W.T. Reg. 067-2005

7. N.W.T. Reg. 067-2005

8. Beverage Container Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 067-2005, s. 17

9. I-Care - Beverage Container Program

10. "Who Pays What? An Analysis of Beverge Container Collection and Costs in Canada, 2018." CM Consulting, October 2018.

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Contact - Northwest Territories


Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division
Phone: (867) 873-7654