PORT HARDY—The Port Hardy Return-it Centre delivered an early Christmas present to customers last month when it completed a contract with Brewers Distributor Ltd. that boosted refund values for empty beer bottles and cans.
“Before, I had to pay for the transportation and handling costs to send them out,” said Rod Inglis, owner of the Return-it Centre, located behind Port Hardy Courthouse in the upper mall.
The operating agreement, signed Dec. 18, makes the Return-it Centre an exclusive BDL licensee and means customers can receive full refund value on all their returnable containers in a single stop.
Previously, only partial refunds were available on beer and cider containers, unless they were returned to a BC Liquor Store branch or other distributorship.
“But they would only take two dozen (containers) at a time, and they needed to be washed out,” Inglis said. “Now that I’m authorized by BCL for direct transport, I pay the customer the full refund and BDL pays me a handling fee. People can bring unlimited quantities and they don’t need to be washed.”
Inglis said he had been working on getting a BDL license for the past 14 years, when the business was known as the Kinsmen Return-it Centre.
“They don’t just give these (licenses) out to just anybody,” he said. “It’s a service I had to get with a lot of lobbying.”
The Return-it Centre is a 3-star facility serving a wide geographical area, including Bella Bella, logging camps and West Coast communities. It collects from bottle drives throughout the region, and Inglis said it increased its total returns last year by one million containers.