The Canadian Beverage Association, Encorp Pacific-Canada, Nestlé Waters Canada and the city of Richmond, British Columbia, announced that their recent Go Recycle! pilot public spaces recycling program resulted in a 27 percent reduction of beverage containers found in the waste stream. The program also saw a 25 percent decline in recyclable non-beverage containers found in the waste stream amounting to an overall 35 percent reduction in waste going to landfills, the companies said.

The program aimed to capture the “last mile of recyclables” in public spaces such as parks, recreational facilities, schools, convenience stores and gas stations. The program deployed 81 recycling receptacles in four specific areas of the community: Garry Point Park, Hugh Boyd Playing Field, Steveston Community Centre and Steveston Village.

The Canadian Beverage Association, Encorp Pacific and Nestlé Waters Canada funded the cost of purchasing the new recycling container infrastructure for the Richmond pilot project. The companies also were responsible for the overall management of the project as well as pre- and post-pilot measurement of the program.

The city of Richmond was responsible for installing, servicing and maintaining the containers, including assuming the operating costs associated with any changes to current waste management services. The city also underwrote the cost of branding the pilot as the “Go Recycle!” program, which is unique to the city. The receptacles have since been donated to the city by the industry consortium.

The first program was established by the Canadian beverage industry and the government of Quebec in June 2008. It used the same public spaces recycling methodology to achieve recovery rates averaging 85 percent and single location results as high as 97 percent for recyclables, including aluminum, glass, plastic and gable-top containers. The programs focus on public education campaigns and citizen participation to augment the province’s existing deposit-return and curbside programs by increasing recycling rates, it says.

The Canadian beverage industry is committed to improving its nearly 70 percent diversion rate for beverage containers, including investing heavily to establish public spaces recycling programs nationally, which includes continuous public education related to recycling and littering. Quebec is in the final year of a program that is diverting, on average, 84 percent of recyclable materials from the waste stream. Successful pilots have taken place in the Sarnia and Niagara regions in Ontario, Halifax in Nova Scotia and Richmond in British Columbia. The industry is poised to initiate a pilot in Calgary, Alberta this year, it says. The first permanent program in North America was established by the industry in Manitoba in April 2010.