A Recycling Revolution

Since 2014, Encorp Atlantic’s innovative recycling pilot projects, which are part of the “(re)” (i.e. “research”) initiative, have been exploring and testing new methods of redeeming used beverage containers. Goals include improving recycling rates in New Brunswick and consumer convenience, as well as increasing redemption centre productivity levels.

The Re-Express pilot project was launched on Earth Day 2018 in Moncton. Re-Express combines two innovative concepts: an unmanned bag drop-off beverage container depot and fixed-value bags. Both concepts were tested separately in Encorp Atlantic’s Re-Centre (Moncton) and Express Bag (Fredericton) pilot projects. Lessons learned, technology developed and best practices from both models have been combined to create the Re-Express beverage container recycling experience, making recycling empty beverage containers quick, easy and convenient.

A retail-recycler-redemption centre partnership is also being tested with Re-Express, thanks to a collaboration with Sobeys Vaughan Harvey and Valley Redemption Centre. This partnership will explore the benefits of retail connectivity for beverage product distributors, consumers and redemption centres as an avenue to improve New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program.

Participants register online to get a card linked to their account. They collect their empty beverage containers, drop them off at their convenience at the unmanned Re-Express depot, and collect their refund via an online account. Payment options include cheque, Interac e-Transfer, PayPal, or donating the funds to a charity. There is also a cash out option in-store via the project’s local retail partner, Sobeys Vaughan Harvey. The project’s local redemption centre partner, Valley Redemption Centre, is responsible for collecting and sorting the containers. Encorp Atlantic manages communications, member services, and member accounts.

The Re-Express depot only accepts fixed-value bags, meaning that participants are instructed to collect their containers in specially designed $2/40 bags and fill these bags with 40 New Brunswick deposit-bearing beverage containers. Since almost all deposit-bearing containers give a 5¢ refund, each bag participants drop off at the depot equals a $2 refund.