After eight years (2014-2022) of field trials that provided valuable data, the Re-Centre pilot project will be shutting down to allow Encorp to transition to a province-wide bag
The modernization of the Beverage Container Program in New Brunswick is long overdue. From its inception in 1992, the program was never designed with consumer convenience in mind. The current lack of redemption centre (RC) standards, proper communication, and lack of financial incentives has deteriorated the consumer experience over the years. In fact, declining recycling rates in New Brunswick can be directly attributed to this. When the program was first launched, more than 108 RC licences were granted. Today, only 68 centres remain in operation.
During our research period, our team has observed emerging trends and best management practices in other legislated beverage container management jurisdictions. Among the most significant observations are the all-inclusive beverage container list used in some jurisdictions and the growing emergence of both the bag-drop concept in automated centres and retail connectivity. Our research projects were successful in testing more convenient ways for consumers to return their used beverage containers (UBCs) while contributing to increase labour productivity for operators. Participants have provided overwhelming support for the bag-drop concept and wish to see it expand.
Furthermore, ignoring the access and convenience factor for consumers in New Brunswick will simply further erode the consumer experience and contribute to declining recycling rates.
After 30 years since the introduction of the Beverage Container Program in New Brunswick, we are about to embark on a transformative process that could change the nature of used beverage container recycling in our province.