Name of program Beverage Container Collection and Recycling Program
Date implemented August 1, 1973
Beverages covered All beverage containers except milk (milk is under a voluntary recovery program through depots)
Containers covered Refillable bottles, cans, and other paper or plastic beverage containers. One-way containers are exempt
Amount of deposit

Aseptic: 5 ¢ ,
Polycoat: 5 ¢ ,
Metal cans<1 litre: 10 ¢ ,
metal cans>1 litre: 20 ¢ ,
plastic bottles <1 litre: 10 ¢ , plastic bottles>1 litre: 20 ¢ ,
non-refillable glass <300ml:$1,
non-refillable glass: 300ml-1 litre: 20 ¢ ,
non-refillable glass>1 litre: 40 ¢

Handling Fees Aseptic & Polycoat: 3 ¢
Aluminum cans: 5¢
Plastic containers: 6¢
Glass containers: 7¢
Collectors of milk jugs and cartons are provided with a "guaranteed salvage price" of $400/tonne of baled plastic milk jugs and $150/tonne of baled milk cartons
Other fees Environmental Handling Charge, paid by consumers
Aseptic: $.03
Polycoat: $.03
Metal cans: $.05
Plastic bottles: $.06
Non-refillable glass: $.07
Reclamation System Not-for-profit SARCAN redemption depots
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 2008 collection rates[8]
Overall: 87%
Aluminum: 91%
Glass: 89%
PET: 82%
Other Plastic: 53%
Bi-metal: 91%
Gabletop/TetraPak: 55%
Refillable Beer: 94%


The program is administered by the Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centers (SARC).2 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.3

Additionally, all 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, 1973,4 promulgated under the Litter Control Act5 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 Commission
(SLGC) stores, hotels, and four depots. All SARCAN depots and all SLGC stores keep a 6-cent portion of the 10-cent refund as a handling fee.

Dairy System

Dairy products are not included in the deposit system by legislation, but the dairy industry has implemented a voluntary recycling system, compensating SARCAN and 21 other recycling service providers to collect and process milk containers.[7]

The dairy industry funds these costs plus management and
advertising through a levy on all large size milk containers.
Specifically, 1 and 2-litre containers have a 1¢ per container fee while larger than 2 litre units have a 2¢ per container fee.


1. Sask. Reg. 188/73

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

3. at 2.

4. Sask. Reg. 188/73

5. S.S. 1978, c. L-22

6. Members of the Saskatchewan Brewers Association Limited pay 60¢ per dozen, vendors who sell or offer for sale "beer for consumption off the
premises in which the beer is sold or offered for sale" pay 48¢ per dozen

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

8. Source: Clarissa Morawski. "Collection Rates: Non-Refillable Containers." Who Pays What: An Analysis of Beverage Container Recovery and Costs in Canada. p.25.

Updated December 18, 2011

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