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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 to use clear/transparent bags that are up to 90 litres in capacity. Click here to read more about Accepted Express Bags.
- 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, some aluminum alcohol containers, etc. To understand what specific beverage containers are managed by Encorp Pacific, please see our Registered Brands Database. 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.
Refillable beer bottles and some aluminum alcohol containers are not managed by Encorp Pacific and are the responsibility of BC Brewers Recycled Container Council (BRCCC) and are covered under BRCCC’s Stewardship Plan.
Return-It sites that are not licensed by BRCCC may still accept these containers, but you may only receive a partial deposit refund. Please check with each Return-It site to understand what BRCCC materials and products are accepted there and the refund you can expect to receive.
- 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?
While you are not able to print labels from home, as each label ends in a unique number, you are welcome to bring some extra labels home with you if you prefer to pre-label your bags. 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.
- Do you deliver labels?
In response to the COVID19 pandemic, we offered mailed Express labels to all users. This offer ended on September 7, 2021. If you have mailed labels, they are still valid for your returns. Once you finish using them you can print more at any Express location.
- How many bags can I drop off?
Consumers can drop off a maximum of six bags of refundable beverage containers at Return-It in depot locations.
- Do I have to always bring my bags to the same depot?
No. You can take your bags to any Express site.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
Learn more about our commitment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
- Can I crush/flatten 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. Here's how to print labels:
- What is Express Scan-In?
Express Scan-In is a new program operating at select locations where Express customers are required to scan in their Express bags before dropping them off.
The Express Scan-In process is currently in operation at the following locations:
- Chilliwack Bottle Depot
- Coquitlam Return-It Depot
- Go Green Bottle Depot and Recycling
- LoLo Return-It Express Plus
- North Vancouver Bottle and Return-It Depot
- PoCo Return-It
- Clearbrook Return-It Depot
- Return-It Express Yaletown
- Sardis Bottle Depot
- Semiahmoo Bottle Depot
- Vancouver Central Return-It Depot
For more details, please click Express Drop-Off Scan.
- What happens if I forget to label my Express bags?
We are unable to offer credit for any unlabeled Express bags as we cannot verify the bag owner. It is a requirement that all Express bags are labeled before being dropped off at an Express location.
Account balance and redemption
- How do I deposit money received from an Interac e-Transfer?
See our detailed instructions on how to accept your deposit refund through Interac e-Transfer.
- 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 e-transfer in one calendar year 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.
- How do I request an Interac e-Transfer?
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com and we’ll assess your account.
- I received a notice that something in my bag was not part of the Return-It system.
- Only ready-to-drink beverage containers that carry a 10c deposit should be included in your Express bag. Please click here for examples of items that you will receive an email notification for if included in your Express bags.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 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 phone by text message or automated voice call).
- How do I enable two-factor authentication?
2FA is a mandatory security feature for all Return-It Express users and is enabled during your first login.
- How do I use two-factor authentication once it has been enabled?
1. Login to your Return-It Express account using your email address and password.
2. Click “generate code” to create a one-time code.
3. Check your phone 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?
See this link for the Express & GO locations - https://www.return-it.ca/express/expressandgo/.
- Why is it only available select 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 site.
You can also print labels at any regular Express site for use at Express & GO stations.
- Are these locations open 24 hrs?
No, most Express & GO stations are open Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- How do I open an Express & GO door?
Starting Jan 31, 2023, the door access requirements at our Express & GO stations will change. Your Express & GO door Pin will be replaced by a NEW Express & GO Passcode. To receive your one-time door pin you will need to text your Express & GO Passcode (found on your Return-It Express account) to 778-400-5253.
- Why are you changing to a one-time passcode?
One-time passcodes add an extra layer of security to our Express & GO stations. Each Express & GO station is also equipped with CCTV and an alarm system.
- Will my old Express & GO pin still work?
No. Any Express & GO pin you used to open the Express & GO station doors prior to January 31, 2023, will no longer open the station doors.
- Where do I find my Express & GO passcode?
Your Express & GO passcode is available on your Return-It Express dashboard under the “profile” section: express.returnit.ca.
- What phone number do I text to receive a one-time PIN?
- To receive your one-time PIN, text your Express & GO passcode to 778-400-5253. We recommend saving this phone number to your contacts for future visits.
- Can I access the Express & GO station if I don’t have a cellphone?
- No, you will need a cellphone to receive your one-time passcode by text message.
- What is the difference between an Express & GO passcode and a one-time pin?
- Your Express & GO passcode is used to generate as many one-time PINs as needed and will not change. Whereas your one-time PIN is used to open the doors and is only valid for two minutes. Each time you visit an Express & GO station you will use your passcode to generate a new one-time PIN.
- How long will my one-time PIN code be valid?
- One-time PIN codes are valid for two minutes. If you have a larger drop off you may need to generate additional one-time PINs.
- What happens if my one-time pin does not work?
If your one-time pin is not working, please check that you are using the most recent PIN in your text messages and that you received it less than two minutes ago. If your one-time pin is older than two minutes, please request a new one.
If you are still having trouble accessing the station, please contact our Customer Relations team at 1855-350-2345.
- 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.
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