Milk is Now a Part of the Beverage Container Program
On February 15, 2010, milk became part of the Beverage Container Program. Remember to wash and squash your milk containers before you recycle them!
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the deposit on milk containers implemented?
- The deposit on milk containers came into effect on February 15, 2010. A refundable deposit and non-refundable handling fee is paid by consumers on purchases of milk and liquid milk products, including milk and cream substitutes in ready-to-serve containers. These containers can be returned to a beverage container collection depot for a refund of the deposit.
What is the deposit amount on milk containers?
- The deposit on milk containers is 10¢ for containers 1 litre and under and 25¢ for milk containers over a litre.
What is the non-refundable handling fee on milk containers?
- The non-refundable handling fee is 5¢ for containers 1 litre and under and 10¢ for milk containers over a litre.
What sizes and types of milk and/or cream containers are included in the deposit program?
- Ready-to-serve containers of milk and liquid milk products including milk and cream substitutes, buttermilk, condensed/evaporated milk, eggnog, flavoured milk, liquid meal replacements containing milk, milk shake beverages, nut milk, rice milk, soy milk and yogurt beverages in containers made of plastic, glass, metal, and polycoat materials (polycoats include gable tops, tetra paks/bricks etc).
What is not included in this program?
- Containers for infant formula
- Containers for milk and liquid milk products smaller than 30 ml
- Powder milk
- Containers sold empty
- Open containers filled with a drink when sold
Can I redeem milk containers I purchased outside the NWT?
- No, only containers that have been purchased in the NWT and charged a deposit and handling fee can be refunded at depots.
Do I need to keep the label on the milk containers?
- Yes, you do need to keep the label on milk containers, so that it can be reasonably identified as a milk container. If you remove the label you may not be eligible for a refund when you take the milk container to the depot.
Can I squash the milk containers so they take up less space before I take them to a bottle depot?
- Yes, please squash the milk jugs and cartons so they take up less space - this will not affect your ability to obtain a refund at the depot.
Do I have to wash the milk containers before I take them to the bottle depot?
- YES! You should wash or at least rinse the milk jugs and cartons, before taking them to the bottle depot. Any milk containers with a strong odour, or containing residual materials, will be rejected by the depot operator for public health and sanitation reasons. You will not receive a refund for contaminated containers.
Putting a deposit and handling fee on milk increases my cost. Will it have a negative impact on low income families who rely on milk as a nutritious staple?
- While the cost of milk has increased at the till, consumers will have the choice to return their empty containers to receive a refund of their deposit by returning the empty containers to a community beverage container collection depot.
Where can people get more information on the Program?
For more information, or if you have comments about the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act, the Beverage Container Regulations or the Beverage Container Program, contact:
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