If you live in Alberta, chances are you have a pile of bottles, cans and cartons that are waiting to be taken to a bottle depot to get your deposits refunded. This task can be time consuming, messy and almost impossible if you do not have a vehicle to transport your empty containers to the bottle depot. One of the most common and effective ways to avoid doing the task of returning empty drink containers yourself is to use a service that will pick them up for you.
What Does It Mean To “Skip The Bottle Depot”?
Skipping the bottle depot really just means that you can get your refund without having to physically come to the depot yourself. When you “skip the bottle depot”, you have someone else pick up your empty drink containers and return them on your behalf. Then, they give your deposit refund to you. Essentially, you are able to return the empties and get your refund back without going to the depot. This is how you “skip” the depot but still get your refund back.
Is It Free To Use Skip The Depot Services?
The answer to this question depends on which service you choose. There are some services that will return your empty bottles and cans for you, but they reduce the rate of return on each one in order to create room for profit for their services.
When you return your empty drink containers directly to the bottle depot, you will receive 10 cents back for every container that holds less than 1 litre. For containers that hold 1 litre or more, the refund amount is 25 cents each. These services will not charge a fee for their services, but they will only return 70% of your refund amount to you, which reduces your rate of return to 7 cents for under one litre and 17.5 cents for containers that are one litre or more. If you have a large number of bottles to return, the amount you forfeit adds up quickly!
There are some bottle recycling pick up services that will charge a flat fee for coming to your home or business to pick up your empties. They will give you your full rate of refund, but deduct a charge for their services. These can be a more cost effective option when you have a large number of bottles to return, but may not be advantageous for smaller batches of returns.
Are There Free Skip The Bottle Depot Options Available?
Yes, there definitely are! Some local bottle depots (like ours) offer a free bottle recycling pick up option for our residential and commercial customers. You simply reach out to us, schedule the pick up and we’ll send your refund directly to you via e-transfer. You don’t even have to be present for the pick up!
Learn more about our no-fee, no minimum order Residential Bottle Depot Pick Up services here.
For businesses, commercial buildings and condominiums, you can learn about our no-fee guarantee Commercial Bottle Return Program here.