The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association was founded in 2010 as a not-for-profit, industry-funded organization. The membership includes beverage brand owners and distributors. The Board of Directors and staff are focused on the single target of increasing beverage container recovery in Manitoba.
The Container Recycling Fee (CRF) changed from a flat rate to a variable rate, effective February 1, 2019. This variable rate depends on container material type and size to reflect each container type’s cost more fairly. CBCRA and its Recycle Everywhere program are completely funded through the CRF and it is important the CRF properly represents the types of containers sold in the Province.
With the support of our partners, beverage producers and the retailers who sell the beverage containers in Manitoba, CBCRA is able to continue to leverage opportunities that increase beverage container recycling across the province. The committed management team and staff offer educational programs and public advertising to show the importance of recycling the right stuff, and to ensure that recycling is accessible no matter where Manitobans live, work or play.
CBCRA continues to improve accessibility to recycling resources through the distribution of conveniently-sized bins, like Bin Bags. Throughout the year, our CBCRA Street Team; and partnerships with campgrounds, cottage associations, and businesses have helped us distribute over 27,000 of these bins. Bin Bags are an efficient and convenient way for Manitobans to recycle while the team works to add more permanent containers into City of Winnipeg parks and open spaces.
There are many more programs that CBCRA and the Recycle Everywhere program have implemented this past year, and I invite you to read about them in this report.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the countless Manitobans for their continued efforts to recycle their empty beverage containers. As we move ahead in 2020, and the tenth anniversary of CBCRA, I want to reiterate the importance of our action-oriented focus, unwavering commitment and dedication to providing the most efficient beverage recycling program to all Manitobans. Together, we can achieve our goal of a 75% recovery rate.
In 2019, CBCRA continued to focus on improving access to recycling bins, educating Manitobans on recycling right, and reducing contamination in the recycling stream. In our commitment to recycling non-alcoholic, non-dairy sealed beverage containers over the last nine years, we have established a very strong recognizable brand, Recycle Everywhere, with an 89% consumer recall rate.
Our track record on litter reduction is very solid; we have grown our reach through social media and partnerships, our government relations is strong and we now have over 68,000 public space bins across the province.
We encourage collection at home, work, schools, and public spaces and pay up to 80% of the net municipal residential collection cost. Through promotion and education, we deliver a message of recycling the Right Stuff, reinforcing what belongs in a Recycle Everywhere blue bin and the downsides when contamination is present.
We initiate and rely on a variety of research, including consumer data, which is an important tool to help guide our efforts. Our Fall report told us that more than 73% of Manitobans recycle away from home, and overall, 90% of respondents know that empty beverage containers go in the bins. But there is still confusion about what not to put in the bins, especially non-beverage items. Manitobans continue to wish-cycle items that contaminate the recycling stream and cause good recyclables to go straight to the landfills. Leftover liquids, food waste, coffee cups and take out cups unfortunately all continue to show up in the recycling stream.
Contamination and its direct and indirect impacts continues to be a large factor in why the beverage container recovery rate remains consistently below 70%. Nevertheless, PET beverage containers were recycled at a rate of 77% in Manitoba, which is consistent with the Canadian average. This tells us that we’re on the right track, but that we have more work to do.
We continued to educate Manitobans through our Street Team, who attended over 282 events, including major sporting events like Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ football games, various festivals, and our Bin Bag distribution day, attended by the City of Winnipeg’s Mayor, Brian Bowman. Our RE101 presentation was shared with over 92 audiences, and we attended many trade shows and conferences across Manitoba and Canada, including the Canadian Stewardship Conference in Vancouver. We have a lot to offer others and will continue to learn from others as well.
It is thanks to our committed Board of Directors, management and staff of CBCRA that we have made the strides that we have to date. Mostly, though, we give credit to all the Manitobans who are now placing their recyclable beverage containers in the recycling stream rather than littering or landfilling them. We appreciate their continued support and dedication to improving access to recycling bins, education and support for communities, schools and workplaces in Manitoba. As we move into our tenth year, the vision remains true... and we have an unwavering commitment to reach our target of 75% recovery.