BC recycling program makes it easy to cash in on your empties

Aug 11 2021, 7:00 pm

Last year, in BC alone, more than 350 million plastic beverage containers were recycled and prevented from polluting our precious oceans and waterways.

While most British Columbians take the time to recycle their empty drink containers, few take the opportunity to cash in on them. But a new initiative by Return-It is vying to change that by revolutionizing how locals dispose of their empties.

What is it?

The new recycling experience, Express & GO, is transforming the landscape with its repurposed solar-powered, shipping container drop-off stations. Plus, extended hours and contactless service are making it easy and COVID-friendly.

Your reward for caring for the environment and contributing to the circular economy? Having your containers sorted and processed for you, and a credit refunded directly to your online account.

Gone are the days of having to carefully sort your drink containers only to wait in line for a cash refund. Now, all you have to do is drop off your unsorted empties in transparent bags at the Express & GO station and leave it to their team to do the rest.

How does it work?

It’s fast, easy, and convenient — and the first step is creating a (free) Return-It Express account. Next, print your labels at the bag label kiosk, which will be located either at the shipping container or at a nearby location, like a coffee shop or grocery store. To make it speedier, you can even print extra labels for your next visit.

Once you’ve tossed all of your unsorted containers in a transparent plastic bag (and added one tag per bag), you can head over to your nearest Express & GO station. When you get there, you’ll be prompted for a unique PIN (which can be found on your account profile), drop off your bags, and hit the road.

All that’s left to do is watch the cash roll in and feel good knowing that the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic in your bottles will be re-used and shaped into something brand new. Within 10 days, you should see the credit appear on your Express account.

Those who register will be joining the already 150,000 locals who are part of express — and loving the peeled-back approach and simplicity of the program.

Where can I find it?

There are many stations to choose from — and most are located in super accessible areas, making returning your empty containers a breeze. Extended operating hours at the depots also mean you can make drop-offs happen on your own time, as most are open from 8 am to 8 pm. To find a location nearest to you, click here.

You’ll find Express & GO locations at Park Royal in West Vancouver, the Transfer Station and at the Superstore in North Vancouver, the Transfer Station in Big White, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, as well as one in Tofino. Return-It is also planning to open more locations in the coming months.

To learn more about how Express & GO is revolutionizing the realm of recycling or to create an account, you can visit return-it.ca.

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