crushed cans

Beverage Container Program

Become a depot operator

What's involved in running a depot?

Beverage container depots deliver a valuable community service by collecting, sorting and storing empty containers. They issue refunds to residents and send the containers to a regional processing centre for processing or to be shipped south for recycling.

  • Depot operators receive a handling fee based on the number of containers collected (depots may also receive an operating subsidy; contact the Recycling Program Coordinator for information on what you can expect to make operating a community depot).
  • Depot operators pay costs incurred in providing a space to operate a depot and any wages paid to staff a depot. These costs are paid from depot handling fees.

Depot requirements

Beverage container depots must have a licence to operate. To apply for a licence, contact a Recycling Program Coordinator at All applications for a depot licence will be reviewed on an individual basis and on their own merit.

Who can run a depot?

  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Non-profit groups
  • Community councils
  • Local development corporations

To maximize opportunities for establishing community depots, the program does not have rigid requirements or guidelines for buildings or facilities. The program does require depots to have a suitable and secure space to collect, sort and store containers. The GNWT may also provide storage or assist in finding storage.

Depot operations

Pre-programmed cash registers or special receipt books are provided along with training on how to use them. The cash register or receipt books must be used for all depot transactions.

At least once a month, a report must be sent to the regional processing centre. The processing centre will reimburse the depot for refunds and depot handling fees based on these reports.

Depots must be open to receive containers and issue refunds a minimum number of hours a month, depending on the size of the community.

The GNWT will pay to remove the containers from the community once they have been collected and stored. This may happen by all weather road, ice road, barge or air depending on the needs of the community.

A community depot operator will get:

  • Assistance in setting-up a depot
  • Training on how to run a depot
  • Equipment needed to handle the empty containers
  • Container handling fee

Contact us

If you are interested in setting up a community depot, contact:

Recycling Program Coordinator
Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife NT  X1A 2L9

Phone: (867) 767-9236 ext. 53176
Fax: (867) 873-0221