What Containers are Refundable in Alberta?

Environmental consciousness is a way of life in the picturesque province of Alberta, Canada. From the rugged Rocky Mountains to the sprawling prairies, the natural beauty of this region is cherished by its residents. Part of this commitment to environmental preservation is the practice of recycling. Alberta has a well-established container recycling system, where certain containers are refundable. In this article, we will explore what containers are eligible for a refund in Alberta and how this system benefits the environment and the people.

Understanding the Refundable Container Program

The Basics of Container Recycling

Before delving into the specific types of refundable containers, let’s grasp the fundamentals of Alberta’s refundable container program. This initiative is designed to encourage recycling and reduce littering by providing a financial incentive for returning empty beverage containers to designated depots.

The Deposit System

In Alberta, when you purchase a beverage in a container, you pay a deposit, which is added to the cost of the beverage. This deposit ranges from 10 cents for containers under one litre to 25 cents for containers over one litre. When you return the empty container to a depot, you receive a refund equivalent to the deposit you initially paid.

Visual that says Recycle next to a green bottle

Eligible Containers for Refund

1. Beverage Containers

Aluminum Cans

One of Alberta’s most commonly recycled containers, aluminum cans, including those for soft drinks and beer, are eligible for a refund.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic beverage bottles, whether they contain water, juice, or soda, can be returned for a deposit refund.

Glass Bottles

Glass bottles used for containing various beverages are also refundable.

2. Milk Containers

Plastic Milk Jugs

Milk containers made of plastic are included in the refundable category.

Cardboard Milk Cartons

Even cardboard milk cartons can be returned for a refund in Alberta.

3. Juice Containers

Plastic Juice Bottles

Like plastic milk containers, plastic juice bottles are eligible for a refund.

Tetra Paks

Tetra Paks used for packaging juices and similar products are also refundable.

4. Beverage Boxes

Soft Drink Cartons

Cartons used for packaging soft drinks are part of the refundable container program.

Juice Boxes

Juice boxes are also included in this category, promoting their recycling.

5. Other Beverage Containers

Drink Pouches

Containers such as drink pouches are refundable when properly returned.

Metal Juice Cans

Metal juice cans, often used for concentrated juices, are eligible for a refund.

6. Liquor Bottles

Glass Liquor Bottles

Glass liquor bottles can be returned to recoup the deposit.

Plastic Liquor Bottles

Even plastic liquor bottles are refundable in Alberta.

Plastic water bottles

Benefits of Recycling Refundable Containers

Recycling refundable containers in Alberta has several advantages:

  • Reduction in Litter: The deposit system encourages people to return containers, reducing litter on streets and in natural areas.
  • Resource Conservation: Recycling these containers conserves valuable resources like aluminum, plastic, and glass.
  • Energy Savings: The energy required to produce new containers is significantly reduced when recycling old ones.
  • Job Creation: The recycling industry in Alberta generates employment opportunities.


How much is the deposit for beverage containers in Alberta?

The deposit for beverage containers in Alberta varies from 10 cents for containers under one litre to 25 cents for containers over one litre.

Are all glass bottles refundable?

Yes, all glass bottles used to contain various beverages are refundable in Alberta.

Can I return my empty milk carton for a refund?

Yes, you can return cardboard milk cartons for a refund in Alberta.

What are the environmental benefits of recycling refundable containers?

Recycling refundable containers reduces litter, conserves resources, saves energy, and supports job creation.

Where can I find the nearest depot to return my containers?

You can locate the nearest depot for returning refundable containers in Alberta through the official Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation website or app.

In this article, we explored the types of containers eligible for a refund in Alberta, shedding light on the province’s commitment to recycling and environmental conservation. If you’re in Alberta, remember to return your refundable containers and contribute to a greener future.


Alberta’s refundable container program is a shining example of how environmental responsibility and economic incentives can go hand in hand. By encouraging individuals to recycle their beverage and other containers, the province reduces waste and supports a sustainable future. So, next time you enjoy a refreshing drink in Alberta, remember to return your container and do your part in preserving the beauty of this remarkable region.