Steps to Plan a Successful Bottle Drive

Two girls organizing the plastic wastes

Do you want to make a positive impact on the environment? Recycling allows you to initiate change.  Instead of throwing out your old bottles and cans, take them in for recycling. If you are short on time or without a vehicle your local bottle depot can arrange to pick them up. Reuse and repurpose anything from glass and plastic to a variety of metals. Your recycled goods can turn into some very interesting items like a piece of jewelry, or a newly formed bag made from repurposed plastic. The possibilities are endless. 

Recycling helps lower the amount of waste at landfill sites and stimulates new and creative ideas.  Recycling also reduces production costs and helps save the environment by decreasing new material sourcing.

How can you make money by recycling? Every time you buy a can of soda or a jug of milk, a recycling fee is charged by the vendor. When you return your bottles and cans to the bottle depot, you get that money back. The deposit fee is money just waiting for someone to collect it. You may think 20 cents is a small amount, but when you gather multiple items from friends and family members, the cents can quickly add up into dollars. Bottle drives are a great way to collect items for recycling and can help raise money for organizations or charities.

 Other Reasons to Organize a Bottle Drive

 In addition to helping others, bottle drives:

  • Spread a message to the community about the importance of taking care of the environment
  • Educate people on how and why to recycle
  • Foster creativity
  • Allow you to meet new people
  • Promotes teamwork

How To Plan A Bottle Drive

Bottle drives are rewarding ways to fundraise. With just a little time and organization you can gather up a whole lot of reusable items. Anyone can recycle so get your friends and family involved. Not only will you surely feel great for supporting an amazing cause, but you are part of helping the environment continuously flourish. Planning an event requires some thought so just remember to take it one step at a time.

Step 1 – Plan

Organize the details of the bottle drive starting with selecting who will take on each task. Get someone to advertise the event, someone to recruit volunteers, and a few people to collect and sort items. As the leader, you will be the one everyone goes to for questions so make sure to plan every step of the way.

Choose a specific date and time frame for the bottle drive. Weekends are good options since most people have more free time from their work schedule. Next, decide if you want people to drop off their recyclables at a specific location or if your volunteers will go to people’s homes for collection.

Step 2 – Registration

When you have all the volunteers ready, register with your local bottle depot of choice. Let them know the name of the organization you have chosen to support.

Step 3 – Advertise

Like anything, it is a good idea to promote the event. There are many ways to get the word out. You can use:

  • Social media postings about the upcoming event
  • Community boards to share information (you might even want to create a pull tab sheet for people to take with details on it)
  • Flyers handed out to local businesses and to individuals
  • Yard signs
  • Word of mouth

No matter how you advertise, you should start doing so as early as possible to increase your chances of a successful turnout. Have fun with promotion by using a ton of colour or artsy images to make the written advertisement forms stand out. Lastly, always ensure the important details like date and time are at the forefront by bolding or highlighting them.

Step 4 – Ensure Everyone is on the Same Track

Remind everyone involved in the organizing about the details of the event one or two days before it happens. Make sure everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of their responsibilities, so there are no hiccups.

Step 5 – Fulfillment

Once the bottle drive is over, the person assigned to take the recycled items to the bottle depot has the final task. The depot will count everything for you and let you know how much money was raised.


With all the details in place, your bottle drive is sure to run smoothly. Remember to have fun at the event and make it memorable for everyone involved. After taking in the recyclables, think about having a small celebration with some music for the volunteers.  A few snacks and drinks are a nice way to thank everyone for their participation. Everyone likes to be appreciated and they will be more inclined to join you when you host the next bottle drive.

At Happy Can Bottle Depot, we make it easy for you to plan a bottle drive. You have the option of an online drive where you can book and plan everything virtually. Do you have questions for us? We are happy to answer them and provide advice on how to maximize your donations.

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