Throughout the SpeakUp on Garbage process, many Winnipeggers have asked about the possibility of a deposit system for containers. Manitoba currently uses a levy system.

Container recycling fees, deposits and other levies are enabled and set by the Province.

A Deposit System:

  • is a fee charged on containers when they are purchased and refunded when the consumer returns the container to be recycled or reused (e.g., ten cent fee charged and refunded on beer containers).
  • encourages individual responsibility
  • has a high recovery rate for containers
  • costs more to administer than a levy system

The levy system in Manitoba:

  • is a two cent non-refundable Container Recycling Fee (CRF), that goes towards the cost of recycling the container
  • is managed by the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association
  • supports our residential blue box program
    • high-value material such as beverage containers (e.g., aluminum, #1-2 plastics) helps offset the recycling costs of lower-value material (e.g., mixed paper, #3-7 plastics)
  • costs less to administer than a deposit system

The provinces of Alberta (ABCRC) and Saskatchewan (SARCAN) have both a CRF and deposit system for beverage containers.

Examples of CRF and Deposit Fees (2011)

Alberta1 Saskatchewan2 Manitoba3
CRF Refundable Deposit CRF Refundable Deposit CRF
Aluminum Cans 10¢ 10-20¢ 2¢ on all beverage containers
Plastic bottles 1-6¢ 10-25¢ 10-20¢
Glass bottles 7-12¢ 10-25¢ 10-40¢
Juice boxes / cartons 3-6¢ 10-25¢

The return rates for containers in with deposits and/or CRFs in 2009 were:

  • Saskatchewan – 86%
  • Alberta – 77%
  • Manitoba – 35% (estimated)

In most provinces that have container deposit programs:

  • the recovery rate of beverage containers is quite high,
  • the ability to collect other materials in a curbside recycling program is limited without some sort of additional fee for service.

Other cities in western Canada that have a container deposit either charge a monthly or yearly fee for recycling collection or do not provide the service at all.

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