The success of Alberta’s beverage container recycling system is heavily dependent on the customer’s experience at your depot.
The BCMB has established minimum requirements for the permitting and operation of a depot. The enforcement of these requirements ensures the building of consistent standards for the depot network that stakeholders, such as the government and the public, can rely on.
As per the Depot By-law, Depot Inspections focus on:
For more information, please click the links below to review the following documents:
The BCMB has introduced Depot Self-Inspections to the Depot Network. A Depot Self-Inspection is a process where a Depot Permit Holder or designate will answer questions in an electronic inspection form in order to assess the compliance of their Depot against minimum Industry requirements. To determine which Depots are eligible for Self-Inspection, the BCMB will review several performance categories to determine which Depots are operating at industry standard annually. Depots determined to be performing at industry standard will be eligible to complete a Self-Inspection of their Depot. Depot Self-Inspections are intended to provide Depot Permit Holders with the autonomy to run their business, in recognition of their diligence and attention to detail, while still confirming compliance.
Please note that the BCMB reserves the right to withdraw a Depot from the Self-Inspection program at any time. The BCMB Compliance Officers may also complete visits and follow-up inspections at Self-Inspection Depots at any time as deemed necessary by the BCMB.
The Self-Inspection Form Instructions can be found in the "Depot Logins & Resources" section of the Depot Owners/Operators tab or by clicking here: https://www.bcmb.ab.ca/depot-owners-operators/depot-logins-resources/.
Click here to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Depot Self-Inspections.
BCMB Compliance Officers visit most depots on an annual or as-needed basis. Compliance Officers use the Inspection Form to evaluate whether or not a depot is meeting the minimum standards as identified in regulation and in BCMB’s By-laws.
There are many different types and locations of depots in Alberta. Meeting a standard may look different for one depot compared to the next. However, in order to operate in Alberta, a depot must meet all the minimum standards defined by the BCMB.
Compliance Officers are well informed on industry standards, best practices and industry initiatives. Please do not hesitate to contact a Compliance Officer to learn more about any Compliance Program or BCMB standard. To contact a Compliance Officer, click the link below to be redirected to the BCMB Contact Page:
All depots are audited by a third-party contractor through the BCMB’s Refund Compliance Program. Regulation requires depots to provide a minimum refund of $0.10 for all registered beverage containers that are 1L or less and a minimum of $0.25 for all registered beverage containers that are over 1L.
Customer confidence and the reputation of Alberta’s beverage container recycling system are heavily influenced and enhanced by depots providing accurate refunds.
Audit Resulting in Non-Compliance
An audit is considered non-compliant if the refund paid by the depot is more than +/- $0.50 of the expected (actual) refund value for that order. In the case of non-compliance, the depot enters Level 1 of the Refund Compliance Framework and will receive a second audit within 180 days. If the second audit results in non-compliance, the depot enters Level 2 of the Refund Compliance Framework, receives a $400 compliance fee and will receive a third audit within 180 days. Should the third audit result in non-compliance, the depot enters Level 3 of the Refund Compliance Framework, receives a $400 compliance fee and will receive a fourth audit within 60 days. If the fourth audit results in non-compliance, the depot may be referred to the Complaints Director for further action.
Challenging an Audit
A depot can challenge an audit within seven days of receiving the audit results. To challenge an audit, a Quality Monitoring System ticket must be submitted. Any challenge received outside of the seven-day challenge period will be considered invalid. Click the link below to be redirected to the Quality Monitoring System:
In order for a depot to avoid compliance action, the BCMB encourages depots to make every effort to provide each customer with an accurate refund.
Click the link below to contact a BCMB Compliance Officer:
Uniform Code of Accounts (UCA) is an integral component of the beverage container recycling system. Completion of the UCA is mandatory as the operational and financial data submitted from each depot in Alberta is used to assist the Data Collection Agent (DCA) in recommending handling commissions. To learn more about the UCA and how to complete it, please contact the Data Collection Agent using contact information found at the link below:
UCA Process and Compliance
Uniform Code of Accounts (UCA) compliance is governed by the Depot By-law. Click the link below to be redirected to the BCMB Governing Documents page to view the by-law:
The Depot By-law provides for a 7-day grace period before the BCMB issues a compliance fee for non-compliance. This grace period does not serve as an extension to the deadline for filing a UCA but provides the DCA a period of time to verify the UCA and communicate with the depot should there be any errors or missing information.
To contact the DCA, click the link below to be redirected to the BCMB Contact Page:
For more information on the Quality Control Framework, audits and audit challenges, click the link below to be redirected to the Depot Notice page where you will find a notice, dated March 18, 2021, explaining these items in detail:
A depot will enter Level 1 of the Quality Control Framework when:
1. A depot’s average variance per bag audited over a three-month period exceeds any of the following thresholds:
2. Any material stream variance, in any one audit, is greater than 7%
If depot performance does not improve, movement through the Quality Control Framework can lead to further audits and compliance action enforced by the BCMB. If depot performance improves, the depot can move out of the Quality Control Framework.
For more information on the Quality Control Framework, click the links below to be redirected to the BCMB Governing Documents page where you will find the Depot By-law:
For more information, please contact a BCMB Compliance Officer by clicking the link below:
Depots receive Audit Summary Results through the Quality Monitoring System (QMS). To challenge an audit, please see the following information:
What happens when a audit is challenged?
To contact a BCMB Compliance Officer, click on the link below:
A POR system can be purchased from any vendor but must have the following basic functionality to qualify as meeting the industry standard and be approved for use:
All newly established Depots, regardless of volume, must have a POR that meets the industry standard POR requirements.
The expectation with a newly established Depot is that the operator must have the POR installation included in the construction timelines within the Depot Permit Application. The POR would have to be installed prior to an operating permit being issued by the BCMB.
Compliance fees must be appealed within 30 days of the date the notice of compliance fee is deemed to have been received by the person who is appealing.
If you have received a compliance fee and wish to appeal it for one or more of the above reasons, you must submit the Notice of Appeal Form below to the BCMB: