How Much Money Do I Get Back For Returning My Bottles?

Group of empty bottles in a recycling basket

In Alberta, when you return empty drink containers to your local bottle depot, you will get money back. This money is the deposit that was paid at the point of purchase and was held in trust by the company that sold the product to the consumer. Regardless of whether you purchased the container or not, if it is eligible for a deposit refund and you bring it to the depot, you will get the deposit amount refunded to you. 

How Does The Alberta Drink Container Deposit Work?

All ready to drink containers sold in Alberta require a deposit to be paid when they are purchased and that deposit is also refundable once the bottle is empty. This process is intended to ensure that once the liquid is consumed within any bottle, can or carton sold in the province, there is an incentive to return the empty container for recycling.

This is part of Alberta’s overall waste management program and the program has been very successful – both financially and environmentally. Simply consider how many jobs the bottle depots around the province have created or how clean and pristine our cities are to see the obvious benefits!

Why Should I Return My Empty Drink Containers?

By now you may be wondering what’s in all of this for you? Well, for every beverage container you return to a bottle depot, you will get a refund. While the amounts are small on each container, the refund adds up quickly when you are returning all of the containers from your household or business.

The amount of the refund per container is dependent upon the capacity or the container. There are two refund amounts – one for containers that held under one litre of liquid and one for containers that held one litre or more. 

  • Containers that have a capacity of under one litre provide a 10 cent refund amount per container.
  • Containers that have a capacity of one litre or more provide a 25 cent refund per container. 

How Do I Know How Much My Deposit Refund Will Be?

When you are returning your empties, it’s often very easy to see which ones will fall into which return amount. Larger containers such as plastic juice jugs, larger water jugs, 2L and 4L milk cartons and jugs and 2L pop bottles are obviously refunded the 25 cent amount. Smaller items such as beer cans, 500mL water bottles and juice boxes will clearly be 10 cent refunds. Other containers such as wine bottles, smaller milk cartons and some juice jugs may be harder to tell so you will have to look for their volume to know which refund amount they will fall under. 

What Are My Options To Return My Containers To The Bottle Depot?

When you are ready to return your bottles to the depot for your refund, you will have a few options. All containers should be rinsed and counted prior to returning and then you can choose one of the following options:

Visit the bottle depot personally. 

Bring your containers into the depot and place them on the counter. They will be counted based on their size and a total refund amount will be provided to you. 

Schedule a pick up. 

Happy Can Bottle Depot offers a free pick up option to our customers. You can text us at 403-730-9999 to set up a date and time window for the pick up. Then you simply place your containers outside on your property and we will pick them up – you don’t even have to be home! The containers are returned to the depot, counted and the refund is e-transferred directly to you. 

Donate your containers. 

You may also choose to donate your container refund to a local non-profit charity or group. You can sign up through a local bottle depot or schedule a pick up through us using the steps above, but designate your refund to go to one of the worthy causes registered with our depot. 

The bottle depot deposit and refund program is an excellent initiative to help keep our city cleaner and add purpose in many ways. We are proud to assist our customers in participating in this great program and ensure they are able to get their container refunds in the simplest manner possible. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

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