Q: What is the Ontario Deposit Return Program?
A: As of February 5, 2007, a deposit has been applied to all wine, beer and spirit containers. These deposits will be refunded when you return the containers to The Beer Store (TBS). The Ontario Deposit Return Program enhances the Blue Box by increasing the number of wine, beer and spirit containers that are recycled (see “Key Facts” summary chart at bottom of page for more details.)

Q: What kind of impact is the Ontario Deposit Return Program going to make on the environment?
A: Returning your wine, beer and spirit containers will:

  • reduce waste to landfills and in doing so, lower recycling costs to municipalities resulting in a win for the environment, for municipalities and for Ontarians
  • help divert additional glass from landfills annually
  • free up space in Blue Boxes, giving municipal governments the opportunity to expand recycling programs

Q: What containers can be returned to The Beer Store (TBS)?
A: All LCBO and Ontario winery and distillery beverage alcohol containers (glass, plastic, Tetra Pak containers, cans, bag-in-box) that carry a deposit can be returned to The Beer Store (TBS), including Tetra Pak containers, plastic bottles (PET), and aluminum and steel containers.

Q: What are the deposit rates?
A: Most LCBO and Ontario winery and distillery beverage alcohol containers 631mL or over carry a $0.20 deposit; those 630mL or under carry a $0.10 deposit; containers 100mL or under do not carry a deposit but can be returned for reuse; aluminum and steel cans over 1L carry a $0.20 deposit; those 1L and under carry a $0.10 deposit. (See “Key Facts” summary chart at bottom of page for more details.)

Q: Why doesn't the LCBO have a deposit return program itself?
A: Reducing package waste and diverting it from landfill have long been goals of the LCBO's environmental strategy. The Blue Box program has been an effective method for capturing recyclable beverage alcohol containers and diverting them from landfills. Even better environmental performance can be achieved by making use of The Beer Store's deposit return infrastructure that is already in place and has been very successful over the years.

Q: Can containers from wine, beer and spirits purchased before February 5th be returned to The Beer Store for a refund?
A: Containers that have been bought without paying a deposit are not eligible for a deposit refund.

Q: How many containers can be returned to The Beer Store at one time?
A: Customers are encouraged to limit their returns to 120 individual containers per visit. Returns of more than 120 individual containers may be taken to a Bulk Return Location. More details can be obtained by calling The Beer Store's Call Centre at 1-888-948-2337.

Q: Is this program in place because the Blue Box isn't working?
A: To the contrary, Ontario’s Blue Box program is very successful. In fact, today, 25 years after it was introduced, it is acclaimed the world over as one of the most recognizable symbols of environmental responsibility. Thanks to the Blue Box, we’ve made exceptional progress in diverting our waste in this province and millions of Ontarians have changed their views and -- more important -- their habits with respect to environmental stewardship.

Deposit Return enhances the Blue Box program, helps to increase the number of wine and spirit containers that are recycled, and frees up space in Blue Boxes, allowing municipalities to expand recycling programs.

Q: What will the government do with deposits that aren't redeemed by customers?
A: Deposits that are left un-claimed by customers are put right back into financing the Ontario Deposit Return program -- it’s that simple. However, the purpose and the mandate of the Ontario Deposit Return program is to help the environment so we strongly encourage consumers to return their empties. They will be helping to keep containers out of landfills.

Q: Where can I get more information about the program?
A: Besides this website, customers can call The Beer Store Call Centre at 1-888-948-2337.

Ontario Deposit Return Program
KEY FACTS

After February 5, 2007, beverage alcohol container returns will be accepted and refunds provided at these return locations:
  • The Beer Store
  • Bulk Return Locations
  • Empty Bottle Dealers*
  • Agency Stores
Eligible containers

Glass bottles, plastic bottles (PET), Tetra Pak containers, bag-in-box
Deposit/Refund Amount

Containers less than or equal to 630mL

10¢

Containers over 630mL

20¢
Aluminum and steel containers Deposit / Refund Amount

Aluminum and steel containers less than or equal to 1L

10¢

Aluminum and steel containers over 1L

20¢
Exempt containers
  • Containers 100mL or less (e.g., 50mL minis)
  • Containers purchased at duty-free stores, U-Vint and U-Brew
No deposit collected or refund offered for these items

*The Beer Store (TBS) has contracts with approximately 150 Empty Bottle Dealers in rural communities.