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Milk carton deposit June 1

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Alberta consumers will start paying a refundable recycling deposit on all milk containers as of June 1 next year.

The province last month announced Canada’s first deposit-refund recycling program for milk cartons and other milk and dairy-based beverage containers, allowing residents to return all such containers to bottle depot locations for the deposit.

Milk containers will continue to be recycled through community recycling programs until the new program kicks in on June 1, 2009, the province said.

The new deposit on milk containers was announced at the same time as the first increase in over 20 years on the levies for all beverage containers sold in Alberta, the province said.

Currently, Alberta’s recycling deposits are charged at the rate of five cents for containers one litre and under, 10 cents for standard-sized beer bottles and cans, and 20 cents for containers over one litre.

Those rates will increase Nov. 1 this year to 10 cents for all containers with a volume of one litre or less (standard beer bottles and cans included) and 25 cents for all containers over one litre (large-size beer bottles and cans included). That increase will apply to all types of pop, juice, beer, wine and spirit containers that bottle depots already accept.

After June 1 next year, the same new deposits will be charged on milk cartons and other milk containers: 10 cents for all containers one litre and under, and 25 cents for containers over one litre.

The new rates and policy are part of the province’s “Too Good To Waste” strategy, for which the stated goal is to increase recycling rates to 85 per cent or higher from the current rate of 75 per cent.

The province estimates about two billion beverage containers are sold in Alberta each year. Of those, the government estimated, 500 million containers are not returned to bottle depots.

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