BIG WHITE, B.C. – Recycling just got more convenient at Big White. Residents, skiers and snowboarders at the popular ski resort in B.C.’s southern interior can drop off their refundable beverage containers at the region’s first Return-It Express & GO recycling station.
Located at 4500 Big White Road, the new facility allows people to drop off pre-bagged beverage containers without sorting them.
The Express & GO model supports a growing need for innovative recycling infrastructure in less accessible locations, where traditional depot facilities may be less viable. Powered by solar energy, the station is housed in a 40-foot repurposed shipping container that opens at 8 am and closes at 8 pm, to accommodate travelers as well as resort workers and permanent residents. It is currently the largest Express & GO station in B.C.
The new service is a direct response to the unique needs of Big White, whose residents previously had to transport their refundable beverage containers nearly one hour to a depot in Kelowna. With visitors coming and going, recycling often fell to permanent residents and resort workers.
This accessible and small-format system is one of the ways Return-It is addressing the need for convenient recycling solutions in rural BC locations.
“At Return-It, we have a long history of working alongside communities to address local needs,” said Allen Langdon, the company’s president and CEO.
“We are pleased to be providing recycling solutions that are both convenient for the community and encourage recycling. We want to thank the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and Big White Ski Resort for their support and for making this possible.”
“Before we partnered with Return-It on this project, we were seeing returnable containers not going back for refunds, but recycled improperly or thrown out,” said Vicki Gee, director of Electoral Area E/West Boundary.
“This new recycling station is going to have a positive environmental impact by keeping recyclable materials out of landfills. Another plus is that residents can choose to direct deposit money to support their own Big White community groups if they wish. I’m grateful for the partnership with Return-It and their commitment to rural areas like ours.”
How it works
Users create an online account by visiting express.return-it.ca. Then, they take containers to the Express & GO System at 4500 Big White Road in a sealed, clear bag. On-site, they print a bag label, enter the pin code provided at the time of registration, and drop and go.
Return-It does the sorting, so there’s no need to wait in line while containers are counted. Refund money will be automatically sent online.
This article was written by SWR Staff