It was noted amongst conclusions in our Final Report on Pilot Projects (April 2017), that the inability to test an unmanned bag-drop depot with fixed-value bags ($2) and explore the benefits of retail connectivity in New Brunswick remained a significant information gap which could have important benefits for the future of redemption centre (RC) operators. The report stated that the impact of having consumers count their containers prior to redeeming has the potential of influencing more change to RC productivity than any other technology, regardless of the size of the RC.
To fill this information gap, we launched our Re-Express pilot project on Earth Day 2018 in Moncton. The project’s test phase started on June 5, 2018, and is set to run with 1,000 participants until at least 2019.
Re-Express combines the unmanned bag drop-off concept with fixed-value bags. Participants are instructed to collect their containers in specially designed $2/40 bags and fill these bags with 40 New Brunswick deposit-bearing beverage containers. Since almost all deposit-bearing containers give a 5¢ refund, each bag dropped off by a participant at the Re-Express depot equals a $2 refund. We will be testing the customers’ response to the fixed-value bags.
Thanks to our partnership with Sobeys (Vaughan Harvey Boulevard, Moncton), Re-Express will also allow us to explore the benefits of retail connectivity for beverage product distributors, consumers and RCs as an avenue to improve New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program. Since consumers buy beverage products from retail businesses, we believe it could be beneficial to have retailers provide a convenient drop-off point for empty containers to be collected by RCs. Participants are also able to purchase their Re-Express $2/40 bags at Sobeys Vaughan Harvey. Finally, our partnership with Sobeys Vaughan Harvey will help us test the concept of an in-store cash-out option—the Re-Station—for customers to access their deposit-bearing containers refund.