Recycling season

The last day to collect points for the Recycling Club for Children is November 14. For those who are new to the Recycling Club, both points and the cash refund are given on all eligible beverage containers.

The last day to collect points for the Recycling Club for Children is November 14.

For those who are new to the Recycling Club, both points and the cash refund are given on all eligible beverage containers.

In the Yukon all ready-to-drink beverage containers, except for dairy and dairy substitutes such as soy and rice milk, are part of the deposit refund system.

The consumer, that means you, pays a bit extra at the time of purchase.

An example is the extra 10 cents on a can of pop that everyone pays for when they buy their favourite soda.

The consumer receives five cents back when the can is handed back to the cashier at any Yukon bottle refund depot.

The outstanding five cents, which is not returned, is used by the Yukon government to fund recycling initiatives across the Yukon, including paying for improvements to the Yukon’s recycling system as well as the Recycling Club for Children.

Recycling Club participants have to be Yukon residents and between the ages of four and 16.

Participants have to get their parent or guardian to fill out an entry form to join the Recycling Club.

This form then has to be submitted to their local bottle depot, which then forwards it to Raven Recycling,

Raven does the administration work on behalf of the Yukon government for the Recycling Club initiative.

This means every Yukon bottle refund depot is part of the club.

Participants from Old Crow to Watson Lake to Whitehorse can register and get points at their local bottle refund depot.

Every time they get a cash refund they can also get points if they have a registered account.

When enough points have been accumulated, they can be redeemed for wonderful prizes ranging from book gift certificates to digital cameras.

There has been some concern expressed that this program is bribing children to recycle.

That is the point.

By getting youngsters into the recycling habit now, they will continue to do it as adults even if they are too old to earn a prize in the Recycling Club.

The Recycling Club is funded from the portion of deposit on refundable drink containers that are returned to Yukon bottle depots, so it does not cost the Yukon government a single penny.

Remember that the consumer only receives a nickel back from the dime they have paid when they purchase a can of pop. The portion that isn’t handed back is split many ways.

Some goes to the bottle depot that received your can.

Another portion goes to the recycling centre that actually ships it south for recycling.

And a very small portion of that nickel goes towards funding initiatives such as the Recycling Club.

But because there is so much pop, beer and juice consumed in the Yukon it means all those small portions from bottles and cans start to add up.

These easily pay for the cost of running the Recycling Club for Children and purchasing the prizes they win.

The current crop of consumers are paying for a program to encourage the next generation of consumers to be better recyclers than we are.

Let us hope that they learn their lessons well and care for the environment in a manner better than is currently done.

For a complete list of Recycling Club rules pick up a prize booklet from a bottle refund depot.

There is also an electronic version online at

Contact Raven Recycling at 667-7269 for more information.

They administrator the 2009 Recycling Club for Children on behalf of the Yukon territorial government.

Remember, the last day to get points is November 14.

Lewis Rifkind is a Whitehorse based part-time environmentalist.

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