Interested in becoming a Depot Operator?

To become a depot operator you will first need to understand the role and responsibility of a depot operator within the beverage container program - here’s how it works.

Beverage container depots deliver a valuable community service by collecting, sorting and storing empty containers.  They also issue refunds to the public and send the containers to a regional processing centre, where the containers are processed and shipped south for recycling.  As such,

  • Depot operators receive a handling fee based on the number of containers collected (depots may also receive an operating subsidy; contact ENR for information on what you can expect to make operating a community depot).
  • Depot operators pay costs incurred in providing a space to operate a depot and any wages paid to staff a depot; these costs are paid from depot handling fees.

To watch a video explaining this in more detail, click here.

Depot Requirements

Beverage container depots must have a licence to operate. To apply for a licence you will have to complete a depot application form and send it to ENR.  Application forms are available by clicking here. All applications for a depot licence will be reviewed on an individual basis and on their own merit.

Who can run a depot?

  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Non-profit groups
  • Community councils and
  • Local development corporations

To maximize opportunities for establishing community depots, the program does not have rigid requirements or guidelines for buildings or facilities however, the program does require that depots have a suitable space to collect, sort and store containers and that the storage be secure.  ENR may also provide storage or assist in finding storage; again this need is evaluated on an individual community basis.

Depot Operations

To simplify depot operations, a pre-programmed cash register or special receipt books will be provided along with training on how to use them. The cash register or receipt books must be used for all depot transactions.

At least once a month a report must be sent to the regional processing centre; the processing centre will reimburse the depot for refunds and depot handling fees based on these reports.

Depots must be open to receive containers and issue refunds a minimum number of hours a month, depending on the size of the community. Contact ENR for more information.

ENR will pay to remove the containers from the community once they have been collected and stored. This may happen by all weather road, ice road, barge or air depending on the needs of the community.

Remember, a community depot operator will get:

  • Assistance in setting-up a depot
  • Training on how to run a depot
  • The equipment needed to handle the empty containers
  • A container handling fee

If you are interested in setting-up a community depot or have any questions, please contact:

Environment Division
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Phone: (867) 873-7654 Fax: (867) 873-0221