We tried out this convenient beverage recycling service and were done in under a minute

Aug 2 2022, 4:30 pm

We don’t need to tell you how important recycling is — by now, we all know. However, sometimes our good recycling habits falter. We can get lazy, and in turn, the planet’s the one that suffers.

But in reality, recycling has been made really easy for us — like, extremely easy. Services like the ones at the Return-It locations across BC — like the Return-It Express & GO and Return-It Express Plus — require hardly anything from us beyond bringing in our empty beverage containers. There’s no sorting or counting necessary, and you get a refund in less than 10 days on all those beverage deposits you pay for.

So, we decided we check it out for ourselves, and see how easy it really is. And after a very pleasant experience (at a notably aesthetically pleasing depot with a view of the ocean), we can confirm that doing your recycling isn’t really a chore at all — it’s actually a pretty fun errand to run.

You may be thinking, “Okay yeah, maybe recycling isn’t that bad, but there’s no way it can be fun?” — and we’re here to tell you you’re wrong.

By the time Friday rolled around, I had a week’s worth of empty beverage containers in need of taking out — you know, your average oat milk cartons, sparkling water cans, and maybe a wine bottle (or two) in need of disposal. But this time, instead of just bringing them to the bins behind my building, I thought I’d take them to the Return-It Express Plus on Lower Lonsdale. Situated right along North Van’s trendy brewer’s row, I was shocked by the honestly stunning location of this depot. This chore turned errand-outing was off to a great start.

Rolling up to the Return-It Express Plus, the sun was shining and the doors of the depot were wide open. I walked in, and the inside of the Return-It was airy, clean, organized, and clearly marked.

Return-It Express Plus offered a super simple, fast, and convenient way to return my beverage containers — and later get a refund on my items. I didn’t need to spend any time counting or sorting my containers, all I had to do was bag them (in a clear, recycling bag), bring them down to the depot, log into my account at the kiosk, print a label, stick it on my bag, and drop it over the window; and all of these stations were very clearly indicated. Easy.

Plus, there was no waiting in lines (cause who wants that while running errands?) or worrying about handling spare change as the money is automatically credited to your account within 10 business days and can be redeemed through cheque or Interac e-Transfer.

The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, but the services are so easy to use that you probably won’t even need to speak to anyone. You can even recycle other items here, such as electronics, small appliances, and batteries.

At the Return-It Express & GO locations, (which are literally repurposed shipping containers powered by solar panels, how cool) simply use your unique PIN code to open the door, drop off your bags, and be on your way.

There was plenty of parking directly outside, and during the visit, I saw lots of people bringing in many more containers than I did — such as dads and their sons unloading bags out of the backs of their trucks. We love a bonding experience.

Overall, it really couldn’t have been made any easier for me to drop off my empty beverage containers and earn back those beverage deposits; so it’s easy to say that this is a service I’ll definitely keep using.

To locate the Return-It Express nearest you, visit return-it.ca/locations.

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