Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Beverage Container Collection and Recycling Program
Date Implemented August 1, 1973 (amended to include beverage container recycling in 1988, and further updated in 1999)
Beverages Covered All ready-to-serve beverage containers 
Beverages Not Covered  Frozen juice concentrates, baby juices, foil pouches, meal replacements, dietary supplements
Amount of Deposit

Metal < 1l: CAD$0.10 

Metal ≥1l: CAD$0.25 

Glass ≤ 300ml: CAD$0.10 

Glass 301ml to 999ml: CAD$0.20 

Glass ≥ 1l: CAD$0.40 

Plastic <1l: CAD$0.10 

Plastic ≥1l: CAD$0.25 

Juice boxes / gable top cartons: CAD$0.05

Environmental Handling Charge

Aluminum/tin cans: 7¢ 
Plastic bottles/jugs: 8¢
Cartons and juice boxes (aseptic & polycoat): 5¢
One-way glass bottles: 9¢
Refillable glass beer bottles: n/a[9]


Reclamation System Not-for-profit SARCAN redemption depots
Handling Fee None
Other Fees

Environmental Handling Charge, paid by consumers

Aseptic: $.03
Polycoat: $.03
Metal cans: $.05
Plastic bottles: $.06
Non-refillable glass: $.07

Unredeemed Deposits Retained by province and used to pay for the program through SARCAN annual operation contract fee. Surplus is placed in provincial general revenues and helps fund extended recycling programs
Program Success

2017 return rate[10]

Aluminum: 92%
Plastic: 78%
Glass: 95%
Aseptics/Cartons: 50%

2014 system Results[2]

Total Return Rate: 86.6%
Aluminum: 92.1%
Glass: 94.3%
PET: 82.3%
Gabletop/TetraPak: 49.0%



The program is administered by the Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centers (SARC).[3] Its recycling division, SARCAN, operates under contract to Saskatchewan Environment and is authorized by The Litter Control Act. Saskatchewan Environment (the Ministry) designates the containers which can be collected for recycling and establishes the refundable deposit and the Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) that consumers will pay.

The consumer pays a refundable deposit and an EHC on the beverage container to the retailer which in turn is passed through the distributor to the government. When returning the container to a SARCAN depot, the consumer receives the deposit refund from SARCAN. The deposit paid out is subsequently reimbursed to SARCAN by the government. The EHCs are not refunded to the consumer and help to finance SARCAN's province-wide transportation, processing and marketing system. This currently covers all ready-to-serve beverages packaged in non-refillable containers (except milk) which include soft drinks, fruit juices, fruit drinks, bottled waters and liquor containers.[4]

Additionally, other beer retailers accept returns at a discounted refund ranging from 5 cents to 8 cents per bottle. This occurs because although retailers are required to take back bottles, they are not required to give a full refund. SARCAN depots accept refillable beer bottles at a discounted rate of 4 cents per bottle.

The Litter Control Regulations, 1973,[5] promulgated under the Litter Control Act[6] governs the deposit and refund regime in the province.

The deposit-return system is operated by "The Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centers" (SARCAN). This organization is a registered non-profit corporation whose mandate is to provide service, training and employment for persons with disabilities. Over 80% of SARCAN's employees are persons with disabilities. All beer is formally return-to-retail or to SARCAN for a discounted refund.

Beer System

Beer cans are legislated containers and are returned as part of the SARCAN system.

Refillable beer bottles are regulated under the Saskatchewan Litter Act and the Liquor and Gaming Act. These bottles can be returned to Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
(SLGA) stores, hotels, and depots. All SARCAN depots and all SLGA stores keep a 6-cent portion of the 10-cent refund as a handling fee.

Dairy System

Prior to 2016, SARCAN and 21 other recycling providers collected and processed milk containers through a voluntary recycling system, in contract with the Dairy industry in Saskatchewan.[8] The dairy industry used to fund collection and processing costs plus management and advertising through a levy on all large size milk containers.

From January 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017, dairy products were recycled through municipal household recycling programs that varied from one community to the next.[7]

On April 1, 2017, “ready-to-serve” dairy products were brought into the deposit system. They are defined as milk, buttermilk, cream, fluid coffee creamers, lactose-free milk products, and drinkable yogurt. According to SARCAN, the entity that manages the deposit program, the change was made to "standardize the treatment of milk with other beverages, reduce confusion for consumers, retailers and producers and enhance milk container recycling and waste diversion rates within the province." [9]


1.These fees are the same as the EHC fees paid by consumers. Source: E-mail Correspondence with Sydney Smith, SARCAN Recycling, January 13, 2016.

2. Collection Rate: The amount of material collected (by weight or by unit) that is shipped to the recycler by the primary processor (e.g., the MRF) compared to the amount of beverage container material placed on the market in that jurisdiction, excluding exports. The weight of caps, labels, and glue should be considered in both the numerator and denominator if material is measured by weight.
Source: Clarissa Morawski. "Definitions of Performance Rates" & "Table 8: Beverage container collection rates by province and material, 2010" Who Pays What: An Analysis of Beverage Container Recovery and Costs in Canada, August 2012. pp.13, 22

3. This is an organization dedicated to assisting people with disabilities achieve “full citizenship.”

4. at 2.

5. Sask. Reg. 188/73

6. S.S. 1978, c. L-22

7. Source: E-mail Correspondence with Sydney Smith, SARCAN Recycling, January 13, 2016.

8. Source: Clarissa Morawski. "Saskatchewan." Who Pays What: An Analysis of Beverage Container Recovery and Costs in Canada, 2010 p.44.

9. Source: "2017 Amendments to The Environmental Management and Protection Act Regulations," Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Environment, 2017.

10. Source: SARCAN Recycling Year in Review, "Annual Report 2017-2018," SARC 2018.

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Saskatchewan Environment
Toll Free: (800) 567-4224


SARCAN Recycling

Address: 111 Cardinal Crescent Saskatoon, SK S7L 6H5

Phone: (306) 933-0616

Fax: (306) 653-3932


Brewers Distributor Limited
Phone: 204-958-7930