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4. Collection System and Facilities

4 Collection System and Facilities

  • The success of the Return-It depot network.
  • How the collection system works after consumers return their empty containers.
  • Map of British Columbia pinpointing the depots and the processing sites.

4.1 Collaboration Plus Convenience

Encorp’s collection network consists of 168 Return-It depots, 1 Return-It Express Plus location and 2 Express & GO stations. Over the past several years, this network has become the backbone for many community-based recycling programs around the province.

The Return-It™ network consists of independently owned and operated Return-It depot collection facilities that have collection agreements with Encorp, as well as corporate Return-It Express Plus locations and Express & GO unstaffed stations.

Nine approved stewardship programs utilize our successful Return-It depot network for collecting and managing their recyclables. From electronics and batteries to used paint and motorized yard tools, our depots have become the recycling hub of their respective communities.

The stewardship plan sets a standard for depot coverage of 97% of B.C.’s population. Encorp Return-It depots provide services to 98.6% of the British Columbian population and when the beverage retail collection locations are included, coverage increases to 99.5%. To view the coverage maps visit

Our integrated transportation system uses 38 transporters to move our material into 15 processing sites throughout the province. Within urban centres, we use dedicated transporters that pick up from depots, retailers and other collection sites. In rural areas, Encorp utilizes transporters that provide back-hauling resulting in environmental, logistical and financial savings.

Encorp is responsible for managing a large volume of valuable containers and significant funds in the form of deposits and fees. We take this responsibility very seriously, so a key function in our day-to-day operations is continuously monitoring the integrity of our systems.

Our Quality Assurance division is a central part of this, sampling bags of containers collected across the system to ensure that container counts are correct and that only acceptable containers are present.

We also monitor trends and activity within our depot, logistics and processing network and share tools and experience with other beverage container stewardship organizations across the country. Finally, we use an independent auditor to carry out both financial and non-financial audits, presented in this annual report, to test the integrity of our reporting.

Express & GO
Express & Go is a newly developed unstaffed station that can be easily placed in high-density urban areas and hard to service rural areas where siting a traditional depot is challenging if not impossible. The unstaffed station provides all the ease and convenience of Express plus a security level to meet Encorp’s stringent audit and controls. Encorp will further develop this style of service provision to expand our reach and customer convenience levels.

4.2 How the Collection System Works

Consumers take their empty containers to a variety of places to collect the deposit refund, and ensure they are recycled.

Where are containers returned?

4.3 Collection, Transportation and
Processing Map

Encorp contracts collection, transportation and processing through a regularly reviewed request for proposal (RFP) procedure. Routes are consistently monitored and adjusted for optimal efficiencies. Transporters pick up beverage containers from depots and deliver them to the nearest approved processor. They are then compacted and prepared for shipping to various recyclers. This step ensures that on a weighted basis, 81% of the kilometers a container travels will be in a compacted state keeping the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a minimum.

Interactive map supports repositioning and zoom

Express Plus Express Plus

Express & GO Express & GO

Depot Return-It Depot

Processor Processing Plant

Consolidator Consolidation Site

Note: Map outlines collection, transportation, and processing for all commodities except glass.
Routes between depots and their respective processors are indicated in colour.

For detailed location search, please visit