In 15 Years Albertans Have Recycled 1.2 Billion Empty Beverage Containers

CALGARY, March 30 /CNW/ - The Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC) is celebrating its 15th year by thanking Albertans for helping them recycle more than 1.2 billion empty beverage containers since 1995.

"Albertans should be proud of this amazing accomplishment," said Guy West, President of ABCRC. "That is a tremendous amount of empties. I would like to thank everyone for the positive environmental impact that has been made to our province. Over the years Albertans have certainly done their part to help the environment of our province."

Beverage containers have been recycled in the province since 1972, but in February, 1995 there was a new beginning for beverage container stewardship in Alberta. Manufacturers, through ABCRC purchased the assets of Contain-A-Way Ltd. from AGRA Industries and began operating as ABCRC Ltd. in the role of the collection system agent of the common collection system.

A lot has changed in the 15 years, especially the volumes sold and recovered through the system.

    -  1997 - aseptic packaging (tetra paks and gable top containers) were
    -  2001 - domestic beer containers were regulated (stewardship of import
       beer was transferred from ABCRC to Alberta Beer Container
    -  2008 - milk and cream containers were regulated - to enter the system
       on June 1, 2009; and
    -  2009 - ABCRC enters into a service provider agreement with ABCC to
       process all non-refillable beer containers (with an anticipated
       consolidation of collection system agents by January 1, 2011.)
    -  The population of Alberta grew from just over 2.6 million people in
       1995 to over 3.4 million in 2007 (last available census data).
    -  The total volumes recovered by ABCRC between July 2009 and September
       15, 2009 were roughly equal to the annual volumes recovered in the
       calendar year 1995.

    Container Volume Comparison
                                Excluding Aseptic & Milk     All Containers

    Manufacturer Sales - 2009                1.4 billion        1.5 billion
    Growth over 1995                              193.1%             225.3%

    Recovered Volumes                        1.1 billion        1.2 billion
    Growth over 1995                              193.4%             210.6%

    Return Rate - 2009                             81.1%              77.3%
    Return Rate - 1995                             81.0%              81.0%

In recognition of their 15 anniversary ABCRC has launched a new website ( and a new logo. We will also hold several events over the year to thank supporters and partners for their contributions in helping to be part of recycling over the past decade and a half.

"Though we have made many inroads in recycling empty beverage containers in the last 15 years we cannot afford to be complacent," added West. "We are mandated by the government to have an 85% recycling rate for empty beverage containers in Alberta by the end of 2011. We are confident that we can achieve this goal as Albertans have proven they do care about their environment."

ABCRC is provincially incorporated and operates with not-for-profit provisions. Our mandate is to be the agent of the beverage manufacturers to operate a common collection system for registered containers. In this role, ABCRC is responsible for ensuring the recycling of the containers, and for promoting the economic and efficient recovery of beverage containers.


For further information: For further information: Guy West, President - ABCRC, (403) 264-0170 x233,; Cherie Cohen, VP, Communications & Marketing - ABCRC, (403) 264-0170 x223,

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