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.
- What type of bags can I use with the Express system?
The Express system requires customers use clear or transparent bags for containers - we recommend using bags approximately 36 inches tall, 30 inches wide and around 70-75 litres in size.
- 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.
- What beverage containers can I place in my Express bag for a full deposit refund?
Beverage containers registered within our recycling system are eligible for a full deposit refund at all Return-It depot and Express locations. This includes but is not limited to soft drinks, juice, water, wine, coolers, spirits, etc. More information on all these containers can be found here. Keep in mind that beverage containers purchased outside of BC, beverage containers damaged to the point of being unidentifiable, or beverage containers without labels are not eligible for a refund – though we’ll still recycle them if you include these in your bag.
Please note that standard brown beer bottles and aluminum alcohol containers are the responsibility of and covered under the Brewers Distributor recycling system and only those Return-It depots that have a Brewers Distributor license to manage this material are able to provide a full deposit refund. Depots who have not received a license from them will still accept these containers but you may receive a partial deposit refund to cover the independent depot’s costs for the handling of these containers. Please check with each individual depot location to understand what materials and products are accepted there.
- Is there a limit to the number of heavy containers (i.e. glass bottles) I can place into one Express bag?
To prevent breakage and for the safety of depot staff, we ask that customers put a maximum of 12 glass bottles in each Express bag. Other lighter containers like aluminum cans or juices boxes can be used to fill the bags and cushion the glass. For larger glass bottles, it may be necessary to put in less than 12 bottles to prevent the bag from getting too heavy.
- 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?
Yes, your email address, mailing address and phone number are required for registration. To activate your account and use the Express system, you will need your email address and phone number. Labels can be printed at each Express location using your verified phone number. All e-transfers are processed using your email address while cheques and label requests will be sent to the mailing address on your account.
- Can I label my bags at home?
Yes! You can print out up to 6 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!
As an additional safety measure, we are now offering to send Express customers Express bag labels through the mail at no charge. To order your labels, sign in to your Express account at express.return-it.ca and click “Request Bag Labels” next to your profile information.
- How many bags can I drop off?
Consumers can drop off a maximum of six 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 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.
- 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?
During this time, please allow up to 10 business days for your updated account balance to appear online after dropping off your Express bags.
- Who do I contact when I have a problem?
For all questions and concerns, you can contact our Customer Relations Team. 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.
- Can I crush my empty beverage containers?
The bar code and label information are used by depot staff or counting technology to confirm that the container is part of the deposit-refund system here in BC. Crushed or flattened containers can be difficult to read or scan the labels. If the depot is unable to verify that your containers are part of the system, they may not be able to issue a refund.
- Can Return-It Express be used for fundraising?
Return-It Express is an excellent and convenient way for organizations to fundraise and receive donations. Once you have created a Return-It Express account, your supporters can bring in their refundable beverage containers to an Express location and label them with your fundraiser account details. There are two ways to print labels:
- Share your registered phone number with your supporters: once they are at the depot they can print labels at the Express kiosk using this phone number.
- Request pre-printed bag labels to share with your donors: mailed labels can be requested by the account holder from their online Return-It Express account under the “profile” section.
Once the bags have been tagged and dropped off at an Express location, we will sort and count the containers within 10 business days. As the labels are linked to the fundraising account, the refund will go directly to your Return-It Express account.
Please click here for a copy of our fundraising brochure.
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.
- What’s the minimum amount I can redeem through mailed cheque?
The minimum you can request via mailed cheque is $50.
- 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. e-Transfers are facilitated through Interac using your email address. Learn more about Interac e-Transfers here.
- I'm trying to request an Interac e-Transfer and the website is asking me for a security question and answer.
Return-It Express requires users to set up their own unique security question and answer each time they request an Interac e-Transfer. Upon requesting a transfer, you’ll be prompted to write both the security question and answer - you’ll need to remember these in order to deposit the transfer into your bank account.
- I forgot the answer to my Interac e-Transfer security question.
If you have forgotten the answer to your Interac e-Transfer security question, you’ll need to cancel the e-Transfer and request it again with a new security question. Cancel the e-Transfer via the Interac notification message sent to your email, wait 24 hours for the credit to be sent back to your online Express account, and request the e-Transfer again. You’ll be prompted to write a new security question and answer.
If you require further assistance with cancelling your transfer, contact our Customer Relations Team at email@example.com or 1-855-350-2345.
- 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 10 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
- When I try to sign in to my Express account, I get the error message “Please confirm your email.”
If you’re unable to sign in and are receiving the error message “Please confirm your email,” you need to confirm your email address by clicking the email confirmation link sent to the email address you registered with. Once you click the email confirmation link, your account will be verified and you’ll be able to sign in immediately.
If you cannot find the email confirmation message in your inbox, please click “Resend your confirmation email here” on the login page after attempting to sign in or contact our Customer Relations Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-350-2345 for further assistance.
- I forgot the password for my Express account.
If you’ve forgotten your login password, please click the “Forgot Password?” link on the login page and follow the instructions to create a new password. Contact our Customer Relations Team at email@example.com or 1-855-350-2345 if you require further assistance.
- What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security for your Return-It Express account that makes it more difficult for an unauthorized user to access your account. 2FA verifies your identity by using two methods of authentication: something you know (your password) and something only you have access to (a unique code sent to your email address).
- How do I enable two-factor authentication?
2FA is available to all Return-It Express users. During your first login, you will be prompted to enable two-factor authentication for your Return-It Express account. Alternatively, 2FA can be enabled under the “profile” section of your Return-It Express account. We strongly recommend that all users enable their logins to use 2FA.
- How do I use two-factor authentication once it has been enabled?
1. Login to your Return-It Express account here using your email address and password.
2. Click “generate code” to create a one-time code.
3. Check your email inbox for your unique verification code.
4. Take note of your code and enter it on the login page.
5. Click “login”.
Express & GO
- Where is Express & GO available?
Express & GO is a pilot project currently available in Tofino, North Vancouver, West Vancouver (at Park Royal) 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?
Each Express & GO location has its own label stand located either at the station or at a nearby retail location. To find out where your Express & GO label stand is, please visit your nearest Express & GO location page - find yours here.
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 taken from the station through the drop-off doors, which can only be opened by registered Express users.