Refundable deposit amounts for drink containers are changing

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If you’re a juice or pop drinker, you might be relieved to learn that refundable deposit amounts for containers larger than a litre are going up next month.

The news isn’t as good however, if your preference is wine or liquor.

Starting February 1, refundable deposit amounts for drink containers are changing to reflect volume and container type, as opposed to content.

Right now, consumers get 25¢ back for recycling all liquor and wine bottles at Yellowknife’s Bottle Shop Recycling Depot . That will drop to a dime for one-litre bottles or smaller.

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Conversely, large cartons or plastic bottles of more than a litre will be worth a quarter. Right now they’re only worth 10¢.

At the same time, handling fees, which is the portion of the deposit you don’t get back, are going up by a few cents in some cases.

According to the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), refunds for containers are being changed to align them with the rest of the country.

The announced changes aren’t being welcomed by everyone.

Eric Brown is head of the Scouts group in Yellowknife. He says reduced refunds for wine and liquor bottles will end up hurting the organization when it does bottle drives.

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“That’s going to make a big difference,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem like it’s a logical thing to do, or fair.

“Bottle drives are going to become something that we’re probably just not going to even do anymore. We’ll find other things that are better methods of making money.”

Brown says the group used to rely heavily on bottle drives as a means to generate money for activities.

“We’re up here in the north so we like to do a lot of travelling,” he said. “Kids get a chance to go to jamborees in Alberta and across Canada.

“There’s a number of different things that we do that cost us a lot of money but they make a big difference in these kids’ lives.

“As far as making money goes, we’re trying to get into stuff that’s short-term and brings us a better return.”

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