As you all know, the New Brunswick Beverage Containers Program (BCP) is undergoing program modernization and a significant structural transition. Changes like these often come with challenges to the system that lead to opportunities for system improvements. Thankfully, with the help and cooperation of the redemption centres (RCs), we’re able to overcome these obstacles!
The major challenges since the new service contracts commenced in April have been supply chain issues. There were delays in equipment delivery, which were only compounded by the summer’s increased beverage container return volumes.
As soon as our team at Encorp was made aware that the issues could impact the flow of bulk bags to RCs, an action plan was put in place to rectify the situation. While solutions can often take longer to implement in a post-pandemic period, we managed to get the issue resolved.
As of September 25, 2023, new auger and conveyor systems have been installed at the processing centre in Miramichi, along with two extra walking-floor trailers. This new system works by dumping the containers out of the bulk bags to be fed into the auger, which compacts the containers and puts them loose in the walking-floor trailers. These walking-floor trailers then deliver the compacted containers to end market.
The new auger and conveyor system has already proven to be a huge step up from the previous system. Now, bulk bags are freed up the same day they’re picked up, rather than at end market. On top of that, we’re getting an average of 600 bags to end markets per walking-floor trailer rather than the average 250 bags previously delivered. The flow of bulk bags to RCs has since been normalized and new bulk bags are on order.
Encorp is fully committed to improving the BCP’s environmental performance, service quality, and overall system. That includes addressing the concerns of RC operators and staff, and we sincerely appreciate their patience and understanding in such situations.