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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Return your king cans for maximum bottle return

Got a mountain of empty, king-size beer cans piling up in the garage?

If you return them to a bottle exchange depot before Nov. 15, you’ll get the maximum return of 20 cents per can, but after that date, you’ll only get half that amount, as the province is reforming its returnable container deposit-refund program this fall.

The new reformed program will phase in on Nov. 1 with all returnable containers, except for glass bottles between 500 millilitres and two litres, adjusting to a 10-cent return. This translates into an increase in the deposit-refund price for all aluminium cans — except king cans, which will drop from 20 to 10 cents. Regular-sized cans, such as soft drinks, will see their deposit price increase by five cents.

The Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB), the organization designated by Recyc-Québec to carry out the reform, said that the new measures aim to increase the number of recycled containers and simplify the deposit system.

According to AQRCB president and CEO Normand Bisson, some 2.5 billion beer and soft-drink containers are redeemable under the new reformed program, and 100 per cent of recovered containers are recycled. When the new phased-in program is complete in 2025, the number of redeemable containers will have increased to around 5 billion.

"Quebecers have been actively taking part in this circular-economy initiative for nearly 40 years," said Bisson in a statement. "Thanks to their efforts, we have achieved a recovery rate of 73 per cent, which is substantial. With the changes introduced as part of deposit-refund system modernization and expansion, we are targeting a rate of 90 per cent by 2032."

Phase 2 of the program, which will launch in March 2025, will extend the recycling program to all glass, plastic and multi-layer beverage containers between 100 millilitres and two litres. For more information, visit


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