Building on success.
Successful beverage container recovery programs rely on having individual consumers return all types of containers on a regular basis. To that end we have pursued two key market priorities province-wide:
- the creation of a strong network of Return-It depots
- the delivery of high visibility, high impact, sustained consumer education and awareness programs through the use of mass media, in depot promotion and outreach to K-12 public schools.
The steady improvement in our container recovery performance from 1998 to 2003 confirms that we delivered on these two priorities.
In late 2004 a slowing in container recovery suggested new factors were coming into play. A series of research initiatives revealed the emergence of three new dynamics:
- in Metro Vancouver (GVRD), which represents almost 60% of overall recovery, a substantial share of containers going into the waste stream and eventually ending up in landfills were found to come from the IC&I (Industrial Commercial & Institutional) and multi-family sectors;
- due to by-law restrictions in the City of Vancouver our inability to develop a strong network of depots has resulted in recovery performance below that of other communities in the Lower Mainland; and
- our continued expansion and upgrading of our depot network (other than Vancouver) and increased spending on retail-style consumer education/awareness programs were not as efficient in reaching into the IC&I and multi-family segments as they had been for the single family segment.