Depot Owner FAQs

For FAQs on the BCMB and the beverage container recycling system, please click here.

For FAQs for retailers and manufacturers, please click here.

  • How do I apply to open a bottle depot in a rural area of the province?
 

There are specific requirements for opening a bottle depot in a rural area (population of less than 10,000 people) in Alberta.  Every operating bottle depot in Alberta holds a permit from the BCMB. In order to obtain a permit to operate a depot in Alberta, the applicant must meet all minimum requirements set out by the BCMB in its Beverage Container Depot Permit Application, Renewal and Amendment Bylaw.

Prior to submitting an application to the BCMB to open a bottle depot, please contact a Compliance Officer at 1-888-424-7671 to discuss your application.  Once you have done so, you need to submit your application in the form of a business plan that demonstrates how the proposed depot would meet or exceed the minimum criteria.

  • How do I apply to open a bottle depot in a metro area (Edmonton/Calgary) or an urban area (population of 10,000 or greater)?
 

Every operating bottle depot in Alberta holds a permit from the BCMB. In order to obtain a permit to operate a depot in Alberta, the applicant must meet all minimum requirements set out by the BCMB in its Beverage Container Depot Permit Application, Renewal and Amendment Bylaw.

The BCMB does not accept general applications for bottle depots in the metro areas of Edmonton and Calgary. The BCMB will issue a Request for Application (RFA) if it is decided that there is a need for another depot. For more information on the RFA process or if you wish to be placed on an email list that will notify you of an upcoming RFA, please contact a Compliance Officer at 1-888-424-7671.

  • What is the Uniform Code of Accounts?
 

The uniform code of accounts is an accounting/financial document. The BCMB, through the Data Collection Agent (DCA), will supply you with a standard form that you will be required to use. More information is available in the UCA Instruction Manual found here.

  • When do I have to submit a Uniform Code of Accounts for my depot?
 

A Uniform Code of Accounts must be submitted no later than six months after your financial year-end. The BCMB or Data Collection Agent (DCA) will provide you with the form in advance of that date.

  • What happens if I don't submit a Uniform Code of Accounts for my depot?
 

The BCMB has a number of enforcement measures that they will take should you fail to submit a Uniform Code of Accounts. The measures escalate over time starting from a reminder letter and ranging to the cancellation of your permit. A complete list of enforcement measures can be found in the Uniform Code of Accounts Compliance By-law. The goal of the BCMB is to encourage compliance rather than to punish non-compliance.

  • Are there any fees that depots need to pay?
 

Depots are required to pay an operation fee to the BCMB of $0.0006 per container collected.

  • Does it cost anything to apply for a new permit or to make an amendment to a permit?
 

Yes, there is an application fee of $600 that must be paid at the time the application for a new depot permit is made. If the application is successful, the applicant will have to pay a $500 Depot Permit Release Fee. If the application is for the amendment of an existing permit, the applicant will pay a $500 Depot Permit Amendment Fee.

  • Does it cost anything to renew my depot permit?
 

Yes, there is a $500 Depot Permit Renewal Fee.

  • What containers are depots to accept?
 

Depots should accept only those containers that have been registered with the BCMB that were sold in Alberta, previously contained a beverage and have not previously been processed. The BCMB will provide you with monthly lists of registered containers that may be accepted. The list of registered containers is also available online at http://breg.bcmb.ab.ca.

Depots are prohibited from accepting any containers that you have reason to believe were transported from outside of Alberta.

  • A customer has brought containers to my depot that I feel are from out of province, what do I do?
 

If you feel that you may have containers that are from out of province please take the following steps to ensure that the situation is resolved:

Do not pay the customer for the containers.

Request that the customer fill out a Container Validation Request (CVR) Form available on BCMB's web site.

Gather any information you can on the customer's vehicle (license plate number, vehicle description etc.).

Contact the BCMB while also sending in the CVR immediately so that we may assess the situation and provide you with a next step.

  • A customer has brought containers to my depot that I don't believe a deposit was paid on, what do I do?
 

If you don't recognize the product or it looks like it could be from out of province, log onto the BCMB registration web site at breg.bcmb.ab.ca to search the product. If the product is registered, you may proceed with payment to the customer.

If the product is not registered, the container is either a non-deposit bearing item (not a beverage container), has not been registered as a deposit-bearing container in Alberta (the company has not registered the product), or the container is from out of province. If this is the case, contact the BCMB for further instruction and next steps. If you have further questions and are unsure whether or not you should proceed with a refund, please contact the BCMB at 1-888-424-7671.

  • What procedure should I follow when sorting and packing containers?
 

The procedure for sorting and packing containers depends on the type of the container. For Industry Standard Bottles (ISB)/beer containers, the procedure is set out in the Operating Agreement between the Alberta Bottle Depot Association (ABDA) and the Alberta Beer Container Corporation (ABCC). For other containers, the procedure is set out in the Operating Agreement between the ABDA and the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC). The BCMB has developed a sorting guide with visuals to assist depots with the sorting of non-refillable containers.

  • I am planning on taking a vacation. I have no staff to operate the bottle depot. Can I close it temporarily?
 

If you are looking for a temporary closure approval, you must fill out the Depot Closure Request Form available on our website. Please scan and email/fax the form to any Compliance Officer 30 days prior to any closure. If approved, Compliance staff will respond to your request with an approval letter.

As per your Operating Permit, you must be open during regular operating hours. Any unapproved closures may result in compliance action.

  • How often do I need to renew my depot permit?
 

Any new depot operators are provided a one-year permit when issued an operating permit. Permits are renewable in accordance with their terms and may be required to be renewed every year, four years or five years. A normal renewal term is five years.

  • How does the BCMB determine my permit length when I apply for a permit renewal?
 

As of April 1, 2013, the BCMB is using a permit renewal scoring system called The Permit Scoring Matrix. This tool was developed to ensure that all aspects of performance are included when determining how many years a bottle depot will receive for a permit length.

The matrix looks at a series of performance measures including average inspections scores, $2.25 report scores, Mystery Shopper results, entrances into the Progressive Action Policy, attendance at mandatory meetings and timeliness and cooperation during the renewal process. Each section is weighted based on level of importance. Your total score will determine whether you depot receives a five-year, four-year or one-year year permit.

Please contact a Compliance Officer to answer questions you may have regarding the process or the document itself.

  • I am running out of depot supplies, who should I call to get this resolved?
 

This is an issue best dealt with by the Collection System Agent - ABCRC. They will be able to ensure that your depot receives a sufficient amount of product at the earliest available date.

  • How do I determine how my depot is performing compared to the rest of the depots in Alberta?
 

The BCMB can provide depots with any information regarding their performance. This may include inspections scores, Mystery Shopper results and audit results (Progressive Action Policy information).

In addition to this, the BCMB can provide a graph chart displaying your depot's audit results for the last 12 months. This is called a PAP Trending Report. We can also provide you with a copy of the industry wide graph to see how you are doing compared to the rest of the depots in Alberta. Please contact any BCMB Compliance Officer to get these results along with a detailed explanation of how they work.

  • Where can I get information on presentations and information provided at mandatory meetings including the ABDA AGM and the Regional Meetings?
 

You can access everything that has been presented to you at the mandatory meetings on the ABDA website at www.albertadepot.ca. If you have any further questions regarding the material from any of the meetings, you can contact the BCMB office and someone will be able to answer your questions or direct you to the correct contact.