Return-It Blog

Return-It School Program Celebrates Educating Youth on the Benefits of Recycling

Return-It is proud to wrap up another successful year for the Return-It School Program and contest, with 259 schools enrolled in the program in 2022/23. Since the program began in 2000, it has been inspiring and educating youth on the importance of recycling and being environmentally conscious, a good environmental practice which they can then carry into adulthood.

As part of the Return-It School Program, registered B.C. schools are eligible to get free educational resource materials for use in their classrooms. Materials provided include information on the recycling process for each beverage container type and what they get recycled into, along with many other facts and cool information about recycling. Schools can also order recycling bins at no cost to make it easier for them to collect and return empty beverage containers to get the deposit refund. In addition, Return-It offers a contest for schools to win cash prizes by participating in the School Program's recycling contest. The program aims to empower the leaders of tomorrow to keep our environment clean and green. Since the program began, over 1,800 schools have been provided with more than 16,000 beverage container recycling bins.

"We are proud to celebrate the creativity and dedication of the students, school faculty and community members who participated in the School Program and contest this year and over the past 23 years," said Cindy Coutts, President and CEO of Return-It. "It's critical to educate children and youth at an early age on recycling and how to foster a world where nothing is waste. This program at its core focuses on creating a better future for people, communities and the planet through recycling awareness, education and partnerships."

Every year, elementary, middle and high school students from across British Columbia enrolled in the Return-It School Program can participate in a contest by sharing their recycling success stories through a submission that highlights their school's used beverage container collection program, exhibits how students were involved and demonstrates how the participating schools used the deposit refunds. After a formal judging process, two elementary and two high schools receive either a $5,000 first-place prize or a $2,500 second-place prize.

Winners for this year's school contest will be announced on Tuesday, June 20 on Return-It's website and on all Return-It's social media pages, including TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Watch for the posts to see who wins!

New to this school year, Return-It introduced a free online version of their educational activity book, which is available to participating schools to provide a fun and hands-on way to teach students on how to recycle their used beverage containers and the benefits to the environment.

There is no cost to join the program and Return-It is always encouraging more schools to participate. More information can be found at

Questions about this blog post? Please contact us at or 1-855-350-2345 for more information.