Another year has come and gone and with the start of this new decade, one can only feel renewed optimism in the modernization efforts for New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program. 2020 will be a busy year with the long-awaited Redemption Centre Licensing Standards and Best Practices Manual, the introduction of new programs and initiatives designed to improve used beverage container recovery rates, and an increase of efforts towards improving recycling access and services for consumers.
Encorp Atlantic started off the year with a reduced sort list for redemption centres (RCs) and a busy research and development schedule that promises added tools for RC operators. New this year, we will also deploy an advertising campaign – deemed a high priority by distributors – the first of its kind, targeted at the general public, to help increase recycling rates throughout the province and reduce litter. There will be more provincial communications and marketing campaigns like this in the future.
Over the last year, distributors witnessed a continued increase in sales (2.4%), which has resulted in more non-alcoholic post-consumer beverage containers being returned for recycling. There has been 7% more volume at RCs in New Brunswick in the last four years alone – which has had a positive trickle-down effect for all RC operators.
Our recycling research projects continue to produce compelling results, and for the first time, a school program is being tested in two Moncton area schools. The intent is to launch a province-wide school recycling program later in 2020. Work is also progressing on a point of sale (POS) system for RC operators which will improve transparency and inventory management, as well as reduce fraud at the consumer and RC level.
Going forward, cooperation amongst stakeholders and distributor agents is of upmost importance if we wish to improve beverage container recycling convenience and access for consumers. It is only by working together that we can assure the viability of New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program well into the next decades.