Collection System and Facilities
4.1 How the Collection System Works

Consumers take their empty containers to a variety of places to collect the deposit refund, and ensure they are recycled.

Collection System and Facilities
4.2 Building On Our Success

Encorp’s collection network consists of 174 privately owned Return-It depots. Over the past several years, this network has become the backbone for many community-based recycling programs around the province.

Nine approved stewardship programs utilize our successful Return-It depot network for collecting and managing their recyclables. From electronics and batteries to used paint and motorized yard tools, our depots have become the recycling hub of their respective communities.

The integrated transportation system uses 37 transporters to move our material into 13 processing sites throughout the province. Within urban centres, we use dedicated transporters that pick up from depots, retailers and other collection sites. In rural areas, Encorp utilizes transporters that provide back-hauling resulting in environmental, logistical and financial savings.

Return-It depots continue to raise the standard for Encorp. Our 3 and 5 Star Depot Program celebrates our commitment to service, cleanliness, design and comfort much like similar programs within the hospitality industry: a star designation assures customers of exemplary standards and the best possible recycling experience. With over 40% of the depot system participating in our star program, you are sure to find one in your community—we invite you to come and experience the difference for yourself!

Encorp Return-It depots provide services to 98.5% of the British Columbian population. Once the retail collection locations are included, coverage increases to 99.4%. Our stewardship plan has a coverage target of 97%. To view the coverage maps visit www.return-it.ca/locations/coverage-2015.

Here is an overview of the 174 depots in the network today:

Encorp’s authorized return locations exceed both the target within the approved plan and the SABC Accessibility Standard. The SABC standard is recognized by all of the member stewardship agencies as the minimum standard for access to recycling for communities in B.C. To view the full standards, visit www.bcrecycles.ca/assets/pdf/SABC_Action_Plan_Oct_16_Final.pdf

Here are some of the business metrics for the Return-It network:

  • Median volume: 5.2 million units of Encorp material
  • Depots share of all collected containers: 93% (7% goes to retailers)
  • Depots collecting electronics: 134
  • Depots collecting packaging and printed paper (PPP) material: 90

Collection System and Facilities
4.3 Quality Counts

Encorp’s Quality Assurance (QA) department’s goal is to maintain the established high integrity of the Return-It beverage container collection system. Verification is completed through sampling to confirm that containers received from the collection network are acceptable and that container counts are accurate. The QA process also checks that containers are sorted properly, for deposit and handling fee payment, by the independently owned depot locations and retail collectors within our network. In addition, we confirm the commodity is sorted to ensure top value for commodity sales.

In 2015 the QA department continued to focus on improving the efficient handling of materials through better organization of floor space and improved racking equipment. Through our high speed Anker Andersen auditing machine we have increased the volume sampled by 11.8% compared to 2014.

To assist the depot network we have worked with independent locations and provided valuable information with regard to sampling statistics. Examples of non-conformant products including pictures, and consistent feedback are given to the depot based on their performance.

A thorough review of the entire Quality Assurance sampling program was conducted. Based on this review we have developed and will implement a rebalancing of the sampling program which will determine which container categories the QA program should focus on and which depots should be sampled more often. The goal of this rebalancing of the sampling program is to concentrate on higher volume used beverage container (UBC) categories versus lesser volume categories rather than applying a one size fits all process.