Beverage container recycling in Nova Scotia is managed by Divert NS— we partner with Enviro-Depots across the province, who collect beverage containers and pay the refunds on our behalf. Learn more about Our Programs.
At almost 83%, Nova Scotia consistently has one of the best beverage container return rates in Canada. Here’s what happens to beverage containers that are returned to Enviro-Depots.
43% are processed in NS. Plastic bottles are reused to make everything from new beverage containers to automotive parts, and glass bottles are ground and used for septic drainage.
54% are aluminum cans processed in the US and turned into new beverage cans in as little as 60 days.
The remaining 3% is processed by two North American markets. One converting the containers into composite roof cover boards, and the other producing premium sustainable recycled fibres used in a range of paper, tissue and food packaging products. Only 3% are shipped overseas for recycling. Some are processed into writing paper and aggregate for construction paper, while others are melted into new steel.
Benefits of Recycling Beverage Containers at an Enviro-Depot™
- Preserves high-quality resources (since the containers don’t mingle with other waste).
- Provides the community with an incentive to recycle.
- Creates local jobs and stimulates the circular economy in Nova Scotia.
- Rescues resources that could otherwise end up in a landfill.
Did you know that you pay a deposit when purchasing a regulated beverage in Nova Scotia? When you return your empty containers to an Enviro-Depot™, you receive your refund in the following amounts:
|Container Type||Deposit Paid||Refund|
|Non-alcohol less than 5L||10¢||5¢|
|Alcohol 500ml or less||10¢||5¢|
|Alcohol greater than 500ml||20¢||10¢|
*The Brewers Association is responsible for the domestic beer bottle deposit program (not Divert NS). Under their program, the deposit for refillable domestic beer bottles is fully refundable ($1.20/dozen).
As we move to capturing more plastic from the waste stream, the practice of caps on is becoming more common across beverage programs in Canada. When returning beverage containers to your local Enviro-Depot™ please ensure containers are cleaned and debris free, with caps on. This advancement further progresses Nova Scotian’s desire to see nothing wasted, by removing more plastic from landfill.
Become a Beverage Distributor
All beverage distributors (regardless of location) must register with Divert NS before selling beverages in Nova Scotia. To register with Divert NS please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recycling beverage containers and used tires in Nova Scotia saves 47,869 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
That’s the equivalent of removing 7,298 cars from the road annually, and worth $1.4 million under carbon pricing.
- Dairy milk and dairy milk products
- Soya beverage products
- Rice beverage products
- Meal replacement beverages
(only those clearly labeled as a “Meal Replacement”)
- Formulated liquid diets *
(only those clearly labeled as a “Formulated Liquid Diet”)
- Liquid foods for low energy diets *
- All baby formulas
- All beverage concentrates
(require water or other beverage mix to dilute before drinking)
- Wine making kits
- All non-alcoholic beverages in containers 5-litres or greater
- All “Return for Refund” labeled containers not purchased in Nova Scotia
*Typically physician-prescribed and impact clinical outcome