What Happens to Your Bottles After They Are Returned?

Bottle depot employees discussing the pickup status

You can help save the planet one step at a time through recycling. At Happy Can Bottle Depot, we make it easy to recycle your bottles, cans, and jugs. Whether the products are made from glass, plastic, or aluminum, think twice before tossing them in the trash. Add a little cash back into your wallet by bringing your items down to our NE Calgary location. If you are short on time, simply schedule a pick-up of all your recyclable goods. Curbside contactless drop off is also a great option that lets you stay in your car on cold and rainy days.

Happy Can Bottle Depot Recycling Process

At Happy Can, you get your entire deposit refunded back for recyclable products. Before recycling, there are a few things you can do to help with the processing of each product:

  • Rinse and Dry – Rinse out and dry your items as they can become contaminated from rotting food and may no longer be acceptable.
  • Remove Caps – Take the caps off all bottles and jugs since these items are not biodegradable.
  • Organize – Place your recyclables into individual categories for plastics, glass, and metal. Each material has a slightly different recycling process and deposit amount associated with it.
  • Set Dates – Create a habit of recycling on a specific day each month so you never forget.

Depending on how you choose to recycle your items, the steps taken will vary.

When You Go into the Bottle Depot

When taking your items to the bottle depot it is a good idea to have everything in recyclable bags to help you with the carrying process. Once inside the location, you can watch as electronic counters accurately take inventory of how many items you have. For your convenience, there is an ATM cash back machine where you can receive the deposit funds back.


If you would rather we pick up your items for you then all you need to do is pack your items up before contacting us. Your pick-up will be scheduled within 24 hours of selecting a two-hour pick-up window. You can leave the bottles, cans and jugs at your front door or wait until we come. All items are then taken to the facility and counted. As soon as this is complete (within 24 hours) we e-transfer funds to the e-mail address you provided. Alternatively, a cheque can be mailed to you with advanced notice. Everything is quick and convenient to accommodate your lifestyle and the best part is that the whole process is entirely FREE.

Contactless Drop Off

Another FREE option for you is to drive to the bottle depot with your organized recyclables. Watch as a team member takes the items into the facility for counting. Within 15 minutes you will see the same person return with your refund amount. No appointment is necessary.


Recycling supports the community. You have the option to donate your deposit funds to a non-profit organization listed in our online bottle drives section of our website.

Bottle Recycling Process

Used bottles waiting to be picked up for recycling

Are you curious about what happens to glass and plastic bottles once they are counted? There is a different process for each but the benefits for both materials are the same.

What are the Benefits of Recycling Glass and Plastic?

  • Reduces emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Air pollution drops
  • Reduces the addition of waste products to landfills
  • Saves raw materials from needing to be taken from the earth

Recycling Glass

4 Steps:

Step 1: Glass quality is different depending on the colour therefore it is sorted into green, amber, and clear.

Step 2: Glass is crushed to about 25mm. It is important to note that it can’t be crushed below 5mm or else it cannot be processed into a new item. It can, however, be added to concrete for roadways. 

Step 3: A special furnace melts the glass at between 1,427-1,538° Celsius.

Step 4: The melted glass is moulded or blown to make new products.

This entire process only takes 30 days.

What are some ways recycled glass is used?

  • New drink bottles and jars
  • Home materials like countertops, tiles, and backsplashes
  • Insulation for homes
  • Water filtration
  • Beads

Recycling Plastic

4 Steps:

Step 1: Plastic is sorted into polymer types to prevent cross contamination which can make the material unsuitable for reprocessing.

Step 2: Plastic bottles are ground up and shredded into flakes.

Step 3: The flakes are melted into pellets about the size of a grain of rice.

Step 4: The pellets are remoulded to make new products.

What are some ways recycled plastic is used?

  • Brand new drink bottles
  • Food trays
  • Clothing fabric
  • Bags
  • Vehicle items like wheel arch liners and bumpers

It can take over 500 years for plastic to decompose and over a million years for glass to decompose. When you recycle, you are saving the environment from unnecessary waste.

If you have questions about recycling, contact us at Happy Can Bottle Depot for how you can get started to make the planet a cleaner place.

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