Return-It Blog

Return-It and SFU launch the Lower Mainland’s first Express & GO location

Recycling just got more convenient at Simon Fraser University (SFU).  Starting today, SFU students, faculty, staff and UniverCity residents on Burnaby Mountain can drop off their refundable beverage containers at the Lower Mainland’s first Express & GO recycling system.  SFU is also the first University in B.C. to have the Express & GO system on campus.

Located at the SFU Burnaby Campus in the East Parking lot at Cornerstone Mews and University Crescent (in between UniverCity Town Square and Nesters Market), the new system revolutionizes the recycling experience by allowing pre-bagged beverage containers to be dropped off without the need for sorting and counting – building on Return-It’s mission to make recycling even more convenient for British Columbians.

Powered by solar energy, the unstaffed station is housed in a repurposed shipping container that opens early at 7 am and closes late at 10 pm, to accommodate today’s busy schedules. The Express & GO model supports a growing need for innovative recycling infrastructure where larger, traditional facilities are less viable. The new, small-format system will play an increasingly essential role serving residents in busy locations throughout the province, where space is at a premium.

Above: Return-It President and CEO Allen Langdon and SFU Chief Commercial Services Officer Mark McLaughlin drop-off some of the first beverage containers to be returned to the Lower Mainland's first Express & GO location on Burnaby Mountain

“We have a long history of collaborating with stakeholders and communities of all types and sizes to provide innovative, convenient recycling solutions that encourage greater participation in our program,” said Allen Langdon, President & CEO of Return-It. “SFU has earned an impressive list of sustainability accolades for forward-thinking projects, and both students and faculty share a passion for the environment. I’m confident the Burnaby Mountain community will embrace this new recycling service.”

An award-winning university guided by a broad sustainability vision, SFU is an institutional leader in waste reduction and supporting an ecologically-progressive society.  As the largest and most recognized extended producer responsibility agency in BC, Return-It is regarded as a model stewardship program by jurisdictions throughout North America, so collaboration between the two progressively-minded organizations reflects a strategic alignment of values.

“SFU is committed to building a sustainable society,” said Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s Chief Commercial Services Officer. “This innovative recycling solution is part of SFU’s Re-Use for Good initiative to help improve our recycling rates while aiming to reduce single-use items. “All these efforts help to move SFU towards a circular economy.  Partnering with Return-It is a natural fit because of our shared commitment to environmental stewardship.”

The Burnaby Mountain community that will be served by the new system includes more than 1,500 students living in campus residence, and more than 5,000 residents in UniverCity – which is ultimately expected to accommodate 9,000 residents. Busy students and families living near campus have expressed a need for convenient local recycling options.

The province’s first Express & Go was successfully launched in the District of Tofino on October 15.