Frequently Asked Questions
General questions/using the Express system
How do I use the Express system?
First, you need to create an online account. Anyone can create an account by visiting express.return-it.ca from any device and completing a quick online registration form. Once registered, you can use the Express system immediately.
To use the system, simply bring your containers to the depot in sealed, clear bags, and enter your registered phone number into the Express kiosk. After you’re prompted to select the number of bags you’re dropping off, the kiosk will automatically print the same number of sticker tags displaying your unique Express account code. Tag each of your bags with a sticker tag and drop the bags off in the designated Express drop-off area to be counted.
Where do I get the transparent bags for the Express system?
Transparent recycling bags or clear trash bags are available for purchase at almost any grocery store, drug store, or hardware store. Brands like Glad, Western Family, Life, Safeway, No Name, and HDX all work with the Express system. As long as the bag is transparent and properly closed with your sticker tag on it, we’ll accept it at an Express location.
What containers can I place in the bag?
Any beverage container purchased with a deposit charge in BC is eligible to be returned for a refund. Beverage containers purchased outside of BC, beverage containers damaged to the point of being unidentifiable, or beverage containers without labels are not eligible for refund – though we’ll still recycle them if you include them in your bag.
How do my containers get counted?
After leaving your tagged bags at a Return-It Express location, your containers are counted by depot staff. A detailed record of your counted containers and refunds will be available on your online account within a few days of dropping off your bags.
Why do you need my email and phone number?
Your phone number is the link to your account at the Express kiosk in the depot – it acts as your account number and tells the Express system who to credit your refunds to. All Interac e-Transfer notifications will be sent to the email address you provide. Your email will also be used to provide other account alerts or updates.
Do I need to register with a real email, home address and phone number?
A real email and home address are required to verify and send Interac e-transfers and mailed cheques. You’re not required to use a real phone number; however, we recommend you use a real number so you can remember it - you’ll need to use it every time you sign into an Express kiosk!
Can I label my bags at home?
Yes! You can print out a few extra bag labels at an Express kiosk and take them home with you to tag your bags as they fill up. Doing this allows you to skip the kiosk and simply drop off your bags at your depot’s Express window!
Is there a minimum or maximum number of containers or bags I can drop off?
There is no maximum or minimum drop-off amount of when using the Express system. However, effective November 1st, 2019, customers may drop-off a maximum of 6 bags of refundable beverage containers per visit.
Do I have to always bring my bags to the same depot?
No. You can take your bags to any Return-It Express depot – find an Express depot near you here.
How do I get paid?
Once your bagged containers have been counted (usually within 5 business days - or 10 business days if you're using Express & GO), you’ll be able to view a full record of your returned containers as well as the deposit refund on your online account. You can choose to save up multiple refunds and/or redeem your account balance at any time by Interac e-Transfer or a mailed cheque.
Can I send my refund to another person or a charity?
Yes! If the person or charity you want to send your refund(s) to has an Express account, you can enter their registered phone number when you print your sticker tags at any Express kiosk. When you use the sticker tags linked to their account on your bags, the refund will go directly to them.
How long will it take to get my account credited?
It can take up to 5 business days for your updated account balance to appear online after dropping off your bags at an Express location.
Who do I contact when I have a problem?
For all questions and concerns, you can contact our help desk. The depot operators and employees are unable to assist with your Express account. Please contact Encorp directly at 1-855-350-2345 if you are experiencing problems that have not been answered in the FAQs.
Why do you use single-use plastic bags for the Express system?
While every plastic bag used in the Express system is recycled by the depot, we're definitely working on a sustainable solution for this. We made a commitment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to eliminate single-use plastics from our supply chain by 2025, and are requiring large depots within our system to use reusable bags for beverage transport by the end of 2019.
You can learn more about our commitment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation here.
Account balance and redemption
How do I deposit money received from an Interac e-Transfer?
For detailed instructions on how to accept your deposit refund through Interac e-Transfer click here.
What’s the minimum amount I can redeem through Interac e-transfer?
The minimum you can transfer is $10. Under extenuating circumstances, smaller transfers may be available; call our help desk at 1-855-350-2345.
What’s the minimum amount I can redeem through mailed cheque?
The minimum you can request via mailed cheque is $50. Under extenuating circumstances, smaller cheques may be available; call our help desk at 1-855-350-2345.
Is there a limit to how much I can redeem through an Interac e-transfer?
The maximum amount you can transfer at one time is $1,000. If you need to redeem an amount from your account balance over $1,000, you can request a mailed cheque instead.
Can I redeem my balance for cash at the depot?
The Express system is not accessible by the depot owners, staff or operators. They do not have the ability to access your account and provide cash payments. If cash at the depot is important to you, then we recommend you continue using the standard procedure and sort your containers at the depot to receive the cash deposit refund.
Do you need my banking information for registration?
No. Under no circumstances will Return-It ask for your banking information.
What if my account was not credited for the amount I thought I dropped off?
There are many reasons why your account may be credited less than what you anticipated. There may have been non-deposit containers in your bag that aren’t eligible for a refund, such as US containers, non-deposit containers, or containers that aren’t identifiable (damaged, no label, etc). It’s also possible that multiple bags are processed at different times over the course of several days. If the balance of your containers still isn’t counted and credited accordingly after 5 business days, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-350-2345 and we’ll assess your account.
What is a "non-deposit" container?
"Non-deposit" containers are empty beverage containers that did not have deposits paid on them at the time of sale, making them ineligible for refund. Containers that are damaged to the point of being unidentifiable are also considered non-deposit. Examples of non-deposit containers include US or out-of-province containers, containers without labels or barcodes, or crushed or broken containers.
What if I disagree with your count?
I’m having problems accessing my account online and/or at the depot.
If you’re having trouble logging into your Express account, please contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-855-350-2345
Express & GO
Where is Express & GO available?
Express & GO is a pilot project currently available in Tofino, BC and at Simon Fraser University's Burnaby Campus.
Why is it only available in these areas?
Express & GO is a pilot project - we'll be collecting and analyzing information and making proper adjustments before rolling out to more locations across BC.
Where do I get my labels?
In Tofino, labels are available at the Express Kiosk stand inside Tofino Co-Op (140 First St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0).
In SFU Burnaby Campus, labels are available at the Express Kiosk stand inside Nesters Food Market (9000 University High St, Burnaby, BC V5A 4X6)
You can also print labels at any regular Express location for use at Express & GO stations.
Are these locations open 24 hrs?
No, Express & GO stations are open Monday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.
How do I open the door?
Every registered Express user is provided with a unique PIN that opens Express & GO drop-off doors - this is available in the profile section of each user's online Express account. Once at the station, the keypad (located below each drop-off door) can be activated by touching it with your fingers or the back of your hand. when the keypad lights up, enter your unique PIN code. The keypad light will turn green, and the drop-off door will unlock automatically. Open the door, drop off your bags, and GO!
Where is my PIN code to open the door?
Every registered Express user is provided with a unique PIN that opens Express & GO drop-off doors - this is available in the profile section of each user's online Express account.
How do I get paid?
Once your bagged containers have been counted (usually within 10 business days), you’ll be able to view a full record of your returned containers as well as the deposit refund on your online account. You can choose to save up multiple refunds and/or redeem your account balance at any time by Interac e-Transfer or a mailed cheque.
How long will it take to get my account credited?
It can take up to 10 business days for your updated account balance to appear online after dropping off your bags at Express & GO.
Is it safe to drop off my containers?
Yes - the Express & GO system is under 24-hour video surveillance for security and safety purposes. Express & GO is designed so that no bags can be from the station through the drop-off doors, which can only be opened by registered Express users.