Working diligently and strategically

In 2015, the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) and its Recycle Everywhere program continued to build on the solid foundation already established for beverage container recycling in Manitoba. This was evident through the continued commitment to infrastructure and programs designed to make recycling at and away from home as convenient as possible, and was complemented by the most significant continuous public education campaign directed towards recycling in Canada.

Since its modest beginnings in 2010, CBCRA has placed 45,000 bins in commercial buildings and public institutions, around parks, stadiums and arenas, and on municipal streetscapes throughout Manitoba. Add to this the continuation of the multi-residential-focused Mini Bin program from its pilot in 2014 and one could say that CBCRA is literally changing the landscape of this province.

Each of these steps has brought us closer to meeting Manitoba’s government-mandated recovery rate of 75 per cent of beverage containers sold in the province. A consistent, steady approach has been the backbone of our strategy and has allowed us to see progress year over year, whether through our recovery rate or the development of new initiatives.

Of course, as a not-for-profit, industry-funded association, we have not reached any one milestone on our own. We have had the continuous support of our funders: brand owners, first importers of non-alcoholic, non-dairy beverages sold in the province and, most importantly, those many, many Manitoba residents who consume these products and properly recycle the packaging. The Container Recycling Fee (CRF) provided to CBCRA by our funders has allowed us to continue building on the program’s momentum, whether through an extensive promotional and educational campaign that changes attitudes and behaviours, or periodic waste audits that measure our efforts and help us to chart our success.

We are within reach of our goal and will continue to work diligently towards it. In the process, we have developed a model program we are proud of, making Manitoba a leader in beverage container recycling within Canada and around the world. CBCRA will continue to move forward aggressively in 2016, bringing our goal within reach.

In closing, this is my last note to you as CBCRA Chairman, as I retired from the Canadian beverage industry at the end of December, 2015. Canadian Beverage Association President, Jim Goetz, has replaced me in this leadership role. Given the single-minded focus shown by the CBCRA Board over the last five years, the commitment to excellence demonstrated by CBCRA staff every day and the high level of cooperation afforded CBCRA by its key stakeholders, I have every confidence the program will achieve its objectives very soon.

In the meantime, I will continue to watch the continuing progress in Manitoba with confidence, pride and, as an Ontarian, a combination of jealousy that we don’t have this great program in our province today, and hope that someday soon we will.



2015 – Changing the Landscape

CBCRA completed another successful year in 2015, with no shortage of new initiatives to keep Manitobans recycling their empty beverage containers. Building on the momentum that began with the organization’s inception in 2010, CBCRA and its Recycle Everywhere program is making great headway towards its 75 per cent recovery rate goal.

“Plan 75” – the Strategic Plan developed in 2014 – has guided CBCRA’s decision making over the past year, especially as we assess the best possible areas to invest our time and programming dollars (i.e. municipal public spaces, schools, office buildings). By evaluating where Recycle Everywhere bins are currently available as well as where the largest opportunity for recovery may be, we have done our best to make strategic, research-based choices that will lead to the biggest increase in future recovery rates.

However, increasing infrastructure alone is not enough. Targeted Promotion, Education and Awareness campaigns continued to be a big part of the program in 2015, with an increased onus on Manitobans to make the best choices. This year’s campaign “How many were yours” was by far the most pointed messaging of all the Recycle Everywhere advertising campaigns to date. A question-driven headline and compelling imagery asked the audience to consider what their part was in the still far-too-large number of unrecycled beverage containers. The campaign’s success, marked by recall rates rivalling 2013’s award-winning “Transformation” campaign, has given us confidence to continue it for 2016.

Other initiatives introduced this year included an increased focus on City and Provincial Parks. Over the last several years, the Recycle Everywhere program has heard continuous feedback that Manitobans would like more recycling available in park spaces. In an attempt to demonstrate the value for helping recovery, Recycle Everywhere staff completed a one-week trial with temporary bins in place at a busy City Park that does not currently offer recycling. The results were provided to the City of Winnipeg to support ongoing conversations with the Mayor, Council and City officials. 

Whether our programs are making recycling more convenient in public spaces and multi-family buildings, educating Manitoba students on the benefits of recycling, or helping northern communities tackle the challenges that come with recycling in remote areas, it is clear that we are dedicated to our goal. We believe in making Manitoba a recycling model for all, and know that we wouldn’t be as successful without our partners in the beverage industry, retailers, consumers and especially all Manitobans. Thank you for your continued support of CBCRA and the Recycle Everywhere program.