Progress for a Better Tomorrow

At CBCRA, we’re always thinking about tomorrow. We’re committed to reaching our 75 per cent recovery rate, continually analyzing what’s been working and looking for ways to improve.

We keep pushing ourselves to be better, and recover more empty beverage containers by finding innovative ways to reach the public and encourage them to recycle as many empty beverage containers as they can. Combining this apporach with ensuring that beverage container recycling is accessible everywhere, we are confident that we will meet and exceed our goal.

Total Cumulative Number of Recycle Everywhere Bins Distributed (by year)
Beverage Container Recovery Rate

Measuring Our Success

We determine our recovery rate by dividing the amount of beverage containers recovered by the amount of beverage containers supplied into Manitoba. We first determine the number of beverage containers sold in Manitoba, based on monthly online reports by beverage producers. These numbers are verified by the beverage companies' auditors. At the end of the year, we have the exact total annual sales for Manitoba.

We then calculate our recovery rate by collecting data from many different sources, including multiple annual waste audits at recycling processors, of at-home collection in single and multi-family dwellings, and waste audits of away-from-home data that comes from Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (IC&I) locations, public events and private sector collections. This gives us the amount of beverage containers that were recovered, known as our total recovery. This number is divided by the total sales to calculate the recovery rate.

We have worked for and enjoyed success since our program’s inception in 2010, increasing the overall recovery rate from 42 to 68 per cent to the end of 2017. This includes the largest increase of any jurisdiction in North America from 2010-2017.

CBCRA is committed to reaching its target of recovering 75 per cent of beverage containers sold into the province.

Total recovery / total sales = recovery rate

Waste Audits

CBCRA evaluates the effectiveness of waste management systems in public spaces by conducting Waste Audits. This helps us understand the composition of the waste, how many beverage containers end up in the recycling stream and how many in the trash, and how we can positively affect behaviours to improve recycling rates.

In 2017, CBCRA conducted four waste audits: three in residential areas, and one in a hotel.

Key Audit Findings:


Residential audits were used to determine the recovery rate of beverage containers in single-family dwellings before and after introducing an at-home recycling bin. The first two of the three residential audits took place in the same 17 neighbourhoods within Winnipeg. The third residential audit took place in only one of these neighbourhoods following a full rollout of the at-home bin in this neighbourhood.

The results of these three audits showed that the recovery rate of recyclables, especially beverage containers, increased in most neighbourhoods after introducing a CBCRA at-home Recycle Everywhere bin. On average, low-income neighbourhoods experienced the greatest increase in recovery rates.


Recycle Everywhere completed a waste audit at a Winnipeg hotel over the course of five days to determine a baseline recovery rate that can be used to measure the success of enhancing in-room and common area recycling bins. The hotel generated over 300 kg of waste, 119 kg of which was recyclable material.

Following the sorting of material and analysis of data, it was determined that the hotel had a recovery rate of 30% for beverage containers and 37% for all recyclable materials. Recycle Everywhere provided recycling bins for each of their 100 rooms. We will continue to measure the impact of the bins by completing a post-audit in March, 2018. After we receive the final results, Recycle Everywhere will be able to determine whether or not the implementation of in-room bins in all hotels will have a positive impact on the beverage container recovery rate overall.

Material Recovery Facility (MRF) Audits

CBCRA regularly conducts MRF audits to help measure the performance of the beverage container recycling system. We do this by taking samples of materials from the tip floor and bunkers and sort these materials into categories. We then measure changes over a set period of time. Two sets of audits occurred at seven MRFs in 2017, the first set in August and the second in November.

Litter Audits

Since the inception in 2010, CBCRA has commissioned third party litter audit firms to conduct litter audits on our behalf. We started in Winnipeg and Brandon, and over the years we’ve expanded our audits to include Steinbach, Flin Flon and Thompson. In 2017, litter audits were conducted in the last two weeks of June. The data from the audits show that, once again, there was a reduction in CBCRA beverage container litter in all five cities as compared to the previous year. Brandon experienced the highest reduction since the baseline year, with an 87 per cent reduction in beverage container litter. In every instance, beverage container litter on city streets has decreased since the baseline audits began, with no other new litter abatement programs being in place besides the Recycle Everywhere program. This has also had a positive spillover effect on other litter reduction.