Name of program Beverage Container Collection and Recycling Program
Date implemented August 1, 1973 (amended to include beverage container recycling in 1988) 
Beverages covered All beverage containers except milk (milk is recycled through municipal recycling – curbside, drop-off bins, etc.) and dietary supplements
Containers covered Refillable bottles, cans, and other paper or plastic beverage containers.
Amount of deposit

Aseptic: 5¢ ,
Polycoat: 5¢ ,
Metal cans <1 litre: 10¢ ,
metal cans ≥1 litre: 25¢ ,
plastic bottles <1 litre: 10 ¢ , plastic bottles>1 litre: 25¢ ,
non-refillable glass <300ml: $1,
non-refillable glass: 300ml-999 litre: 20¢ ,
non-refillable glass ≥1 litre: 40 ¢

Environmental Handling Charge Aseptic & Polycoat: 3 ¢
Aluminum cans: 5¢
Plastic containers: 6¢
Glass containers: 7¢[1]
Handling Fees None
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 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

Dairy products are not included in the deposit system by legislation and are recycled through municipal household recycling programs as of January 1, 2016. These programs vary from one community to the next.[7]

Prior to 2016, SARCAN and 21 other recycling providers used to collect and process 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.

Specifically, 1 and 2-litre containers have a 1¢ per container fee while larger than 2 litre units have a 2¢ per container fee.

This has changed so milk is considered part of the household recycling programs, and not part of the beverage container recycling program.



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.


Updated August 10, 2017

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