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St. Theresa’s Conference holds Bottle drives every summer. This year, because of COVID-19, we were not able to start as early as we had planned. We missed the Bottle Drive in April, but were able to hold the one in May, in June and in July. God willing, we will also have bottle drives on August 15th and September 19th.

Going to the bottle depot after a bottle drive is an eye opener. First you are startled by the noise of cans and bottles clanking loudly. Secondly, you are overtaken by a sense of high speed.

We ripped bags, emptied bags and two hours later, it was all done. Even though it was quite hot in there, the owner of the bottle depot and his staff were kind, polite and helpful.

I was amazed! Their jobs are difficult, and I bet that when they get home after their shift, they are all exhausted.

We returned the SSVP truck to the warehouse and went home. I could not stop thinking about the people working in the bottle depot. So, I decided to google Bottle Depots.

Did you know that they partner with charitable organizations? Organizations that mostly assist kids, such as, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Alberta Cans for Kids, etc.

Their website also gives you information on what containers are recyclable. Did you know that, in Alberta, there are over 110,000 different types of beverage containers that can be recycled?

There is a lot more information on their website. They teach you how to do bottle drives, about their pickup service, etc.

Another thing I learnt in the Bottle Depot website, is that they are also trusting people. You can sort your containers by size, that is all containers that are one litter or less and containers of more than one litter. If you have more space, you can sort them by material. If you have a lot of containers of a specific type, such as aluminum cans, you can group them together. Similarly, if you have a lot of water or pop plastic containers, group those together.

Another tip they give is to empty and rinse all containers before storing them at home. After the rinsing process is done, leave the lids off so that they can dry at a faster pace. It will also decrease the odor and the chance of flies and wasps to deal with.

And they mention things like removing items like plastic rings, carton boxes and other extra packaging that may have come with your beverage containers. Beer bottles, however, should be brought to the Depot in the case they were purchased in. Depots use these cases to return the bottles so they can be recycled or refilled.

After my trip to the bottle depot, and after talking to a couple of other SSVP members, I decided that we are going to handle our bottle drives differently. When the parishioners drop off their donations, we will try to sort them as best as we can, to assist the people working in the bottle depot. It will make their work lot easier and hopefully just a bit more pleasant.

Maria Lupul
St. Theresa’s Conference
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
July 2020