Attention redemption centre owners and operators,
With the recent announcement that redemption centres can reopen/resume activities immediately, we know that you will be facing many challenges. Already, some of you may be planning to reopen with reduced staff or reduced hours, and some of you may need more time before you can reopen to ensure that you meet Public Health and WorksafeNB requirements. These decisions are entirely up to your discretion. We certainly understand that it will not be business as usual.
Rest assured that we at Encorp Atlantic are ready to resume operations immediately as of Monday, May 11th, and assist, so that this transition to a new normal of doing business is as smooth as possible. We hope sharing the following important information answers questions and helps ease worries.
- COVID-19 Operational Plan
During a May 6th teleconference for redemption centres organized by the Department of Environment and Local Government, Public Health and WorkSafeNB officials stressed the importance of all businesses in the province having a written COVID-19 Operational Plan and being set up and ready to follow the measures and procedures in their respective plans. This plan should include a COVID-19 risk assessment and appropriate infection and prevention controls (ex: respecting the 2m physical distance requirement for employees and customers, equipping staff with masks or face shields or installing plexiglas barriers when physical distancing is challenging, having handwashing/hand sanitizing stations, disinfecting high contact areas, etc.). Information and resources to assist businesses – including handy downloadable/printable signs – are available via the Government of New Brunswick website: gnb.ca/coronavirus.
- G.M. Rioux Pick-Up Schedule & Encorp Payments
Pick-ups of Encorp bulk bags will start again as of Monday, May 11, 2020, and follow the usual schedule. You can have a pick-up starting this week even if your redemption centre is not yet open to the public in order to clear any bulk bags you presently have onsite. We will be contacting all redemption centres the day before their respective regular pick-up to confirm their need for supplies and their current bulk bag volumes. We will work together to ensure that this resuming of operations after 6 weeks of service interruption is done as smoothly as possible. Note also that Encorp’s regular payment schedule will now resume. To ensure a healthy cash-flow at your redemption centre, Encorp will not start reclaiming the advances that were paid during the COVID-19 crisis for a good couple of weeks.
- Plastic Bag Recycling (Sort #30)
It is with regret that we must announce the end of our Plastic Bag Recycling Program due to sanitary reasons because of COVID-19 as well as contaminants found in previous shipments from redemption centres. Redemption centres will have to manage plastic bag waste in the manner they best see fit. We hope this alleviates some of the stress for your employees while they adjust to new ways of working due to COVID-19. G.M. Rioux will pick up any remaining sort #30 bulk bags filled with plastic bags that you have on site during your first pick up, after which, it will cease to pick up this sort.
- New Deposit-Bearing
As you are already aware, many new containers which used to be excluded from the Beverage Containers Program are now deposit-bearing and eligible for a refund. Communications about this are available on our website on the Containers List page under the RC Operators menu. We understand that it will take time to get used to these changes. Because of the COVID-19 situation, there has been no promotion yet of these changes among the public, so we do not anticipate high volumes of these containers being returned in the immediate future. Public education posters and brochures have been prepared and can be distributed at your centre at your leisure to slowly make consumers aware of these changes. Boxes of these materials will be delivered by Encorp staff to all redemption centres soon. In the fall, once we feel redemption centres have had the chance to adapt to the new normal of doing business in the province, we may look into leading a public education campaign on the various types of containers eligible for a refund, to help you increase your container volumes.
We continue to post frequent updates to the News & Updates for Redemption Centres page on our website. We wish you all a good first week back in business!