Every two years, CM Consulting publishes Who Pays What — An Analysis of Beverage Container Recovery and Costs in Canada — a comprehensive report on the status of performance and costs of beverage container recycling programs in each Canadian province. Beverage containers are ubiquitous. In Canada, collectively, this worked out to about 1.5 million tonnes of scrap material collected for recycling, worth about $200 million in 2008.
It cost more to recover used beverage containers last year due to the economic downturn and defl ated commodity prices. The substandard quality of some over-abundant materials may have required further processing, landfi lling, or warehousing. High fuel and labour costs made the problem worse.
On a positive note, compaction technologies can help, reducing transportation costs by more than 40 per cent. Leading-edge measurement tools on the environmental benefi ts of recycling (from a life cycle perspective) continue to show the upstream benefi ts of recycling containers, including greenhouse gas reduction.