March 29 - April 5, 2004

Nova Scotia increases fees on recyclable beverage containers, refillable beer bottles

Nova Scotia's Resource Recovery Fund Board (RRFB Nova Scotia) and the Brewers of Canada recently announced a substantial increase in handling fees for recyclable beverage containers and refillable beer bottles. The increase amounts to 5.3% for recyclable beverage containers and 6.5% for refillable beer bottles.

The changes in the handling fees for recyclable beverage containers are as follows:

*For the first two million beverage containers, the handling fee will be 3.4 cents per container (up from 3.1 cents), effective April 1, 2004.

*The handling fee for all containers above the two million mark will remain at 3.1 cents per container.

The handling fee increase for refillable beer bottles will be phased in in two stages:

*The current handling fee of 27 cents per dozen beer bottles will increase to 27.6 cents per dozen, retroactive to January 1, 2003.

*Effective April 1, 2004, the handling fee will further increase to 28.8 cents per dozen beer bottles.

The interim increase confirms the commitment of the RRFB and the brewers' group to the independently owned Enviro-Depot(tm) refund and recycling centres across Nova Scotia.

"This combined increase in handling fees will greatly benefit all Enviro-Depots, especially our smaller rural recyclers, who represent half of all depots in the province," said Derek Firth, the RRFB's chief operating officer. "Our province has one of the highest return rates for recyclable beverage containers and refillable beer bottles in North America, largely due to the ease of access to recycling facilities through the extensive Enviro-Depot network."

With the interim fees in place, the two parties will complete the development of a comprehensive process to set handling fees which will provide a fair return to depot operators while protecting the interests of beverage consumers and Nova Scotia municipalities. The goal of this process is to ensure that handling fees are developed using sound information in an open, participatory manner.

"With the work on the handling fee process near completion and a depot operator's manual drafted, our next goal is to finalize and circulate it to all Enviro-Depots this summer," said Firth, adding that RRFB Nova Scotia has established regular communication with the Enviro-Depots "in order to work together to make the Enviro-Depot(tm) network more efficient and ultimately increase the amount of beverage containers returned for a refund."

More information is available from Catherine McCarthy at RRFB Nova Scotia, 902/897-3253, or Howard Collins of the Brewers of Canada, 613/232-9090.

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