Encorp launched its ambitious “re” (i.e. “research”) initiative in 2014 to explore new methods of redeeming used beverage containers. The goals of this initiative are:
- improve recycling rates in New Brunswick and the consumer convenience of redeeming deposit-bearing beverage containers
- increase redemption centre productivity levels, and
- establish provincial standards.
The most successful of Encorp’s “re” pilot projects, Re-Centre, has put to the test the idea of a drop & go service (bag drop) for returning and redeeming empty deposit-bearing beverage containers. The project has not only gathered rave reviews from its test participants but has shown that the convenience the self-serve drop & go model offers attracts consumers who did not already redeem their empty beverage containers to start doing so – as well consumers who were used to visiting redemption centres – but rather infrequently – to start redeeming more often and with a larger volume. Furthermore, 40% of visits to the Re-Centre self-serve depots take place during after-hours – hours when redemption centres are traditionally closed – showing a clear want from the public to return and redeem their empty beverage containers during evenings and weekends. Extending hours of operation is quite difficult for current RC operators to accomplish due to labour shortages. Having a self-serve option for customers available all day – and especially during after-hours – is one way redemption centres could immediately satisfy this need and increase their collection volume.
Encorp is committed and ready to make improvements to the New Brunswick Beverage Containers Program (BCP) for all stakeholders, with a focus on consumers and operators, by investing in technology over the next several years. Encorp is using the knowledge and expertize it has gathered from leading Re-Centre – as well as various other “re” pilot projects it has led – to create and launch technology tools that will be implemented in New Brunswick redemption centres, such as a Point-of-Sale (POS) system, and a next-generation drop & go recycling service for beverage consumers.
Encorp is also continuing to build upon the knowledge gained with its pilot projects to create and launch innovative public space and special events recycling programs. These programs will focus on reducing litter in our beautiful outdoor spaces, supporting recycling in schools, and helping communities use recycling as a way to raise funds.
Current Pilot Projects
Re-Centre Pilot Project
LAUNCHED: APRIL 2014
Launched on Earth Day 2014 (April 22), Re-Centre consists of self-serve drop & go (bag drop) beverage container collection test depots. Re-Centre users sign up online, receive a membership card in the mail and use specially designed bags with bar-coded tags to collect their used beverage containers. Full bags are brought to any Re-Centre depot. At the depot, Re-Centre members need only scan their card, followed by their bags, before depositing the bags inside the depot. Bags are picked up on a regular basis and processed off-site. Re-Centre members are credited for the deposit-bearing beverage containers in their bags within three business days, via an online account.
Re-Centre continues to operate with three locations in Greater Moncton. The continuing success of the Re-Centre pilot project is now helping Encorp work on refining the drop & go model that it plans to make available to redemption centres across New Brunswick.
Re360 Pilot Project
LAUNCHED: APRIL 2016
STATUS: ONGOING – CURRENTLY BEING ADAPTED FOR SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY FUNDRAISERS & SPECIAL EVENTS RECYCLING
Encorp launched its Re360 green recycling boxes, made from post-consumer plastic and designed to fit 60 empty beverage containers, in April 2016 as a means to simplify the c9nsumer’s and the redemption centre’s process. For each reusable box filled with 60 deposit-bearing containers, consumers receive a $3 refund. The concept is that consumers who use the Re360 boxes would have priority service when visiting a redemption centre: since the value of each box is set, they should not need to wait in line and should be able to leave immediately with their emptied boxes and a cash refund.
A few redemption centres in New Brunswick made Re360 boxes available to their customers during the initial pilot period. These include Valley Redemption Centre (Dieppe Babin Street location and Moncton Collishaw Street location), Maurice Thibodeau Redemption Centre (Rivière Verte) and Dépanneur Fairisle (Fairisle). Learn more.
Re360 boxes remain available at the Encorp office should other redemption centres wish to offer them as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags for their customers. Interested redemption centre operators are encouraged to contact Encorp’s office for more information.
The Re360 boxes are also available to schools for their classrooms to get students involved in collecting and recycling empty deposit-bearing beverage containers. Learn more about our school recycling program.
Furthermore, Encorp has lent its Re360 boxes to various fundraising and special events recycling initiatives and will be integrating the concept to public space and special event recycling projects currently in the works, such as its Re-Mobile trailer currently being tested in collaboration with redemption centres.
Previous Pilot Projects
Re-Express Pilot Project
$2/40 Express Bag Pilot Project
LAUNCHED: MAY 2015
Locations: Fredericton, Hanwell & Oromocto
The $2/40 Express Bag pilot project was launched in the Fredericton area in May 2015, in co-operation with three existing redemption centres (Northside Redemption Centre in Fredericton, Southside Redemption Centre in Hanwell and Oromocto Redemption Centre in Oromocto). Special Express Bags were provided to consumers with instructions to fill them with 40 deposit-bearing containers for a fixed refund amount of $2. Using fixed-count bags allowed consumers using these bags to skip the line and receive priority service, thus reducing wait times. The concept was meant to also reduce labour costs for redemption centres as it presented a more efficient way to deal with the peaks and valleys of customer visits. Express Bags could be accumulated during peak times and processed during lows. The trial period for this pilot project ended in May 2017.