Merritt bottle depot closed pending sale
The George Hale Bottle Depot in Merritt is closed, but the current owners say it will likely reopen this month with a new owner.
“This was in no way planned; it was a definite necessity,” said co-owner Candace Hale. “It was an emergency. I ended up going to Kamloops in an ambulance and sitting there waiting for surgery.”
She said in the 43 years she worked at the depot, the town became “one big family,” and it will be exceedingly difficult, emotionally, to end the operation.
The depot was closed on July 13, reopened part time the following week, and then closed the week after, on July 21.
“There have been some family emergencies as far as surgeries are concerned,” Hale said. “We are medically unable to continue.”
Those looking to recycle are allowed to bring up to 48 bottles or cans to the B.C. Liquor Store at 104- 1700 Garcia St., and the Old Barley Market Beer and Wine store at 1975 Quilchena Avenue accepts up to three flats. Cooper’s Foods is no longer accepting bottles.
The closest bottle depot is located in Logan Lake at 131 Chartrand Ave.
The depot was passed to six siblings from their father, George Hale, and has operated in Merritt for the last 43 years.
Hale’s sister Melody Deeley, who is from Abbotsford, said Encorp Pacific will continue to operate the location as a Return-It depot.
“We’re hoping things can be up to speed, as far as a new depot, in the next two weeks,” she said. “It won’t have the same name and people will probably just know it as the Return-It depot.”
While the depot hasn’t officially been purchased, a sale is under negotiation and several stakeholders have expressed interest, she added.