The Deposit-Refund Program

Green Depots are independently owned and operated businesses that are licensed by MMSB to help carry out the Beverage Container Recycling Program. MMSB pays each Green Depot a per-container handling fee. MMSB also provides support to the Green Depots through special funding opportunities and marketing initiatives. MMSB ensures consistency among all Green Depots though its Green Depot Licensing Standards.

A portion of the deposit you pay—3 cents for non-alcoholic containers and 10 cents for alcoholic containers—is used to cover the cost of recycling, including administration, handling, transportation and processing costs.

When a customer does not return their used containers to a Green Depot for recycling, the refund is used to supplement the cost of running the Used Beverage Container Recycling Program.

What’s Accepted/Not Accepted

Green Depots are independently owned and operated businesses and as such, some locations offer services that are separate from the used beverage container licensing agreement with MMSB.

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Refillable beer bottles are not part of MMSB’s Used Beverage Container Recycling Program because local beer brewers such as Labatt, Molson and Quidi Vidi operate an independent deposit-refund system. You can return these refillable bottles to beer retailer or to a Brewers Bottle Depot to receive a refund.

That said, some Green Depot locations accept refillable beer bottles as an added service for their customers. Please call your local Green Depot to confirm whether refillable beer bottles are accepted as well as the amount of the refund.

Note: ALL imported beer bottles and beer cans are accepted through MMSB’s program and can be returned to a Green Depot for refund.

Milk, as defined under the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations, is deemed an essential nutritional product and as such, no deposit is charged and therefore no refund is provided at the Green Depot. This also applies to goat’s milk and milk alternatives that are fortified plant-based beverages such as soy, almond and oat milk.

The exception applies to milk alternatives that are labelled as “fortified plant-based beverages” AND “not sources of protein.” These beverages are included in the Used Beverage Container Recycling Program and are accepted at the Green Depot.

Please note that milk containers are accepted for recycling where curbside recycling programs are available and should be included in your blue bag.

There are several reasons:

  • Green Depot operators and staff must be able to clearly identify what product container is being returned, and crushed or flattened containers can be difficult to identify.
  • To ensure the health and safety of Green Depot staff, there’s a maximum weight each bulk bag can accommodate based on the number of containers. When containers are crushed or flattened, more fit into bulk bags, putting them over the acceptable weight limits.
  • When containers are processed, they are compacted into large cubes, called bales. Containers that have been crushed or flattened often won’t take the right shape and join with other containers in a bale, resulting in inadequate bales that could be rejected by end markets.

Green Depot operators and staff must be able to clearly identify the containers they receive to ensure they are included in the Beverage Container Recycling Program, so labels should be left on wherever possible.

Schools and Non-Profits

Any K-12 public or private school in Newfoundland and Labrador can register with the Get Matched! School Recycling program each year. Once a school is registered, MMSB will match the amount of the school’s recycling refund, and provide the matching funds through a monthly payment to the school. You can help bolster a school’s refund by donating your recyclable beverage containers directly to the school—OR, when dropping off beverage containers at a Green Depot, you can inform a staff member that you want your containers to count for a particular school. (That’s important, because account balances cannot later be transferred to a school account and will not qualify for the matching refund payment.)

Yes. Many non-profit groups collect beverage containers to raise funds. You can donate by giving your beverage containers directly to the group or by putting your beverage containers on that group’s account at the Green Depot.

MMSB is unable to expand the Get Matched! Program beyond K-12 schools as it is not financially feasible due to the high volume of community groups and charities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

MMSB focuses its efforts on matching recycling refunds for K-12 schools throughout the province to encourage responsible waste habits among youth and to help schools raise money that can be reinvested in environmental initiatives.

Still have questions?

Call or visit your local Green Depot. (Use the Green Depot finder to see contact information.)