Bottle Bill Resource Guide

 

Name  Beverage Container Program (BCP)
Date Implemented Enacted 2003; Implemented 2005; Last Updated 2016
Beverages Covered

All ready-to-serve drinks, including: [1]

  • Milk
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Water
  • All other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Non-refillable beer
Containers Covered
  • Glass bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Tetra packs/drink pouches
  • Gable top containers
  • Bi-metal containers
Beverages Not Covered
  • Infant formula
  • Powdered milk
  • Liquid milk products < 30mL
  • Open containers filled with a drink when sold
Amount of Deposit
  • Containers ≤ 1L: 10¢ CAD
  • Containers >1L: 25¢ CAD

Deposit amounts do not contain handling fee (also known as Container Recycling Fee). See table below on: Deposits and Handling Fees.

Reclamation System 23 locally operated depots & 6 temporary satellite depots
Handling Fee 2.2¢ - 4.5¢ CAD [2]
Other Fees Processing fee: 2¢ - 4.5¢ CAD
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Program Success

 

  FY2014 [3] FY2016 [4] FY2019 [5] FY2020 [6] FY2021 [7]
Aluminum 92.7  84% 86.1% 79.6%  64.0%
Glass 81.7%  100% 100.0% 89.6%*  82.6%**
Plastic 81.0%  84% 84.6% 75.7%  60.7%
Gable Top/Tetra Pak 61.4%  62% 64.6% 55.5%  40.8%
Bi-Metal 59.1%  64% 62.3% 71.4%  45.3%
Bag-in-a-box N/A  N/A 31.7% 27.9%  27.2%
Total: 88.2%  83% 83.9% 77.0%  61.9%

 *: The Department of ENR reported a 310% return rate for glass containers larger than 1L in 2020, which they suspect is a result of bottles purchased outside of NWT being returned. This rate has been changed to reflect the actual maximum possible return of 100% for large glass containers.

**: The Department of ENR reported a 134% return rate for glass containers larger than 1L in 2021, which they suspect is a result of bottles purchased outside of NWT being returned. This rate has been changed to reflect the actual maximum possible return of 100% for large glass containers.

 

Details

The Beverage Container Program (BCP), enacted on November 1, 2005, is the first program created under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act. [8] Prior to the implementation of the program, over 30 million containers ended up in NWT landfills or as litter along the streets and highways each year.

In order to sell beverages covered by the Recycling Regulations, distributors must register with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and are required to remit to a surcharge (consisting of a refundable deposit and a handling fee established in Schedule 1). Those fees are paid into the “Environment Fund", which pays for the recycling of the materials returned. [9]

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 center operator. The payment includes the amount paid to the depot operator plus the handling fee for the processing center operator. The GNWT pays to transport all containers from depots to processing centers. The GNWT also pays to transport refillable glass beer bottles from processing centers to Edmonton. Processing center operators pay all other transport costs. They also pay 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 Fee [10]

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


Footnotes

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

[2] Ibid.

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

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

[5] See Footnote 1.

[6] "Waste Reduction and Recovery Program: 2019-2020 Annual Report." Government of Northwest Territories. 2020.

[7] "Waste Reduction and Recovery Program: 2020-2021 Annual Report." Government of Northwest Territories. 2021.

[8] Beverage Container Regulations, N.W.T. Reg 067-2005, s.1.

[9] Beverage Container Regulations, N.W.T. Reg 067-2005, s.17.

[10] "Waste Reduction and Recovery Act." Government of Northwest Territories, February 1, 2016.

 

 Last Updated on May 24 2022.

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division
Phone:867-767-9236, poste 53176
[email protected]
www.enr.gov.nt.ca