2018 was an interesting year from many perspectives at Encorp Atlantic. First, we witnessed a continued increase in sales from distributors that resulted in more used beverage containers (UBCs) being returned for recycling. This translates to nearly 4.5% more volume to the 69 redemption centres (RCs) in New Brunswick in the last three years alone! This has had a positive trickle-down effect for all RC operators. In fact, in May 2018, Encorp recorded our largest month ever in our 27-year history with 18,907,000 UBCs returned to RCs. August was the second largest on record with 18,701,000 UBCs.
Progress is also happening on other matters of concern for RC operators and staff. Our research projects continue to produce interesting results. For instance, the Re-Centre pilot project (drop & go, Moncton) reports that participants on average will visit the depot and drop off their UBCs eight times before actually cashing out ($56.45 average withdrawal). This drop & go technology gives options to the ever-so-busy consumers looking for a fast and easy solution for recycling their deposit-bearing containers and an interesting potential for driving labour efficiencies at the RC level. According to our most recent dashboard, Sunday appears to be the busiest day of the week, closely followed by Saturday.
Also, our continued work on RC standards has brought all stakeholders to realize that the modernization of New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program can only happen if we cooperate and work together. New Brunswick is currently the only province in Canada without operating standard for its deposit-bearing beverage container collection centres. Going forward, co-operation amongst stakeholders and greater convenience for consumers are critical to the long-term viability of the RC network in this province.