Bottle depot to open next week
The Return-It bottle depot in Merritt is expected to reopen next Tuesday, according to an Encorp Pacific spokeswoman.
The depot closed permanently on July 21 under the former owner, and residents scrambed over where to toss their recyclables after that owner locked the gate, due to multiple family medical emergencies.
“Unless something drastic goes wrong, we expect the depot to reopen [Oct. 2],” said Krystin Beck, regional operations manager for Encorp. “Most people have been waiting for the depot to reopen, and it’s Merritt, so hopefully people do have some space in their garages.”
The new owner is finishing contract negotiations, so more information about who will take over isn’t being released.
After the closure, Encorp contacted Extra Foods, Cooper’s Foods and the BC Liquor Store to say the company will facilitate the pickup of unlimited bottles.
“These grocers usually have a limit, but we asked them to accept without a limit,” Beck said. “We’ve been picking up a lot more often.”
Those locations usually have a two-dozen limit, she added.
However, some people dropped their bottles off at the Logan Lake Return-it Depot instead, which experienced an slight influx in drop-offs, Beck said.
“Most of the residents have been extremely patient, and we also had the little boy who was doing a bottle drive,” she said. “A lot of people have been dropping off at his site and we actually went there and picked them up.”
Seven-year-old Jacob Schultz has raised money for the BC Children’s Hospital since April. He presented a $1,000 cheque to the hospital in August, though he is looking to donated more money.
After Encorp picks up the containers, they are processed at various centres throughout B.C., depending on the type of material being recycled.
The aluminum is made into Coke cans and are back in stores usually within a month, Beck said. Juice boxes are made into toilet paper.
The location of the new bottle depot hasn’t been announced.