Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Alberta Regulation 101/1997 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act: BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING REGULATION [1]
Date Implemented Created in 1972, updated to create the Beverage Container Management Board (BCMB) on 12/1/1997.
Beverages Covered All ready-to-serve beverages; beer exemption repealed in 2001 and dairy exemption repealed in 2009. [2]
Containers Covered All sealed containers purchased in Alberta
Amount of Deposit

≤1 litre: 10¢ CAD [3]

>1L: 25¢ CAD

Reclamation System 221 operating registered depots and 10 Class-D depots (return to retail) [4] 
Handling Fee

Handling commissions range by material type from $0.04105 CAD to $31.49 CAD [5]

Average handling commission per container: $1.66451 CAD

Other Fees An annual operating fee is set by and paid to the BCMB. The operating fee (as of May 2022) is $0.0018 CAD per container. [6]
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by Manufacturers' Agent (ABCRC).
Program Success
 Material Type 2021 [10] 2020 [9] 2019 [8] 2018 [7] 2017
Cans and Non-refillable Glass* 88.0% 85.8% - - -
 Aluminum  -  -  88.0%  89.1%  89.0%
 Bi-Metal  -  -  80.7%  84.1%  89.4%
 Glass  -  -  87.7%  92.6%  94.5%
 Plastics  81.2%  78.5%  81.2%  81.6%

(≥ 1litre): 90.6%

(≤ 1litre): 80.3%

 Polycoat  69.2%  69.3%  69.2%  71.1%  71.3%
 Total  84.1%  82.2%  84.1%  84.9%  85.1%

 *As of 2020, BCMB reports the redemption rate data for cans and non-refillable glass together. 



Alberta’s deposit-return system is operated by a network of over 220 privately owned & operated permitted bottle depots. All depots are regulated by the Beverage Container Management Board (BCMB), with most being a part of the Alberta Bottle Depot Association (ABDA). The BCMB oversees the activities of depots, collection service providers for beverage manufacturers, and the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC), the Collection Service Agent (CSA) -which acts as a non-profit agent for non-refillable beverage manufacturers operating in Alberta. The Alberta Beer Container Corporation (ABCC) is the largest collection service provider operating in Alberta and collects refillable beer containers. The BCMB also oversees registration of beverage containers prior to their sale within Alberta, is responsible for approving the method of recycling, and for setting the rate of pay or handling commissions from manufacturers to depots for the collection and sorting of beverage containers.

The CSA and collection service provider boards are represented by a consortium of beverage manufacturers. The CSA is responsible for all non-refillable containers (representing 98% of total system volume) and the largest collection service provider is responsible for refillable beer containers. The BCMB board is equally represented by beverage manufacturers, depots, and the public. The BCMB board is a stakeholder board with equal representation by beverage manufacturers, deposts, and the public. The BCMB board also has a non-voting government representative. 

The Container Recycling Fee (CRF), unredeemed deposits, and the value for the recycled products are retained by the CSA and collection service providers for the purposes of funding and managing the collection and recycling of beverage containers within the system. 

The Alberta Government does not supply any funding for the operation of the beverage container recycling system. In Alberta, the system works in a way that consumers have to pay the Container Recycling Fee (CRF) and a deposit when they buy a beverage. Manufacturers are also required to pay a CRF, which is determined every year by the CSA, for each container they sell in the province. Manufacturers can decide whether to pass this fee on to the consumer. The BCMB board determines an annual operating fee based on the number of containers sold in the province. This fee is paid to the BCMB through the CSA and the collection service providers.


In this system, a consumer is entitled to a cash refund of the full deposit paid on each container, as prescribed in the regulations. All manufacturers operating in Alberta must register and participate in the system. The manufacturer is required to identify their beverage containers being sold, and report and remit for each container sold, the deposit value and the Container Recycling Fee (CRF). The CRF and deposit are paid to the Collection Service Agent, the ABCRC.

The ABCRC and collection service providers are required to pick up the containers from the Depots and to reimburse the amount of the deposit paid to the consumer. The manufacturer also pays a handling commission (based on container type) for each container received by the depot operator. The BCMB board sets handling commission. 

The Depots receive and sort containers at their premises. Refillables are sorted by type and manufacturer. Non-refillable beverage containers are sorted by material type (aluminum, glass, plastic, composite, etc.) and color where applicable.

Depots collect all beverage containers, including all ready-to-serve beverages, sold in the province. The ABCRC is required to operate the common collection system for all registered non-refillable containers; to be responsible for recycling the empty and used containers in a manner approved by the BCMB board; to pay depots the handling commission and refund the deposit; to set the Container Recycling Fee; to comply with the Regulation and BCMB By-laws and Operating Agreements; and to promote the economic and efficient collection of beverage containers.


[1] "Governing Documents." BCMB, last updated 2022.

[2] "Interpretation of Beverage Regulation Policy." BCMB, updated June 10, 2015.

[3] "Container Types and Refunds." Alberta  Depot.CA. 2020.

[4] "Global Deposit Book 2020: An Overview of Deposit Systems for One-Way Beverage Containers." Reloop Inc. December 15, 2020.

[5] "Handling Commissions By-Law." Beverage Container Management Board. February 22, 2023.

[6] Ibid.

[7] See Footnote 4.

[8] See Footnote 5.

[9] "2021 Annual Report." Beverage Container Management Board. June 22, 2022. 

[10] Ibid.


Last Updated on May 19, 2023.

Search Our Site

Contact - Alberta

Alberta Environment and Parks
Outside Alberta: (780) 944-0313
Toll free: 1 (877) 944-0313
E: [email protected]

Alberta Bottle Depot Association (ABDA)
#202, 17850-105 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 2H5
Toll free: 1 (877) 787-2232
E: [email protected]

Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC) 
901 57 Ave NE
Calgary, Alberta T2E 8X9
Toll free: 1 (800) 267-4130
E: [email protected]

Beverage Container Management Board (BCMB)  
#100, 8616 – 51 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6E6
Toll free: 1 (888) 424-7671
E: [email protected]