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Alberta’s Great Prairie Bottle Harvest: Why You’ll Want To Participate

Alberta’s Great Prairie Bottle Harvest: Why You’ll Want to Participate

You heard from me back in July about a cause that’s near and dear to my heart – recycling beverage containers to keep them out of landfills and put money back in the hands of the community. I’m back with news about an Alberta Depot initiative – The Great Prairie Bottle Harvest. Launching across Alberta in October over three weekends, its goal is getting yet more people on-board with recycling their beverage containers while raising TAX-FREE funds for any cause they choose.

Here’s why you’ll want to participate in The Great Prairie Bottle Harvest.

Alberta's Great Prairie Bottle Harvest: Why You'll Want to Participate

You can pick whatever cause speaks to you and raise a considerable amount of tax free money that will benefit both the environment and whatever cause you choose. Some examples of causes that are already registered include the Banff Community Greenhouse, Flying Dogs Canada Dog Rescue, Independent Living Resource Centre of Canada, Girl Guides of Canada, Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary and the Wellness Through Living Society to name a few. In fact you can scroll through the causes to see if there is already one set-up near you that catches your fancy.

Should you have your own cause and you’re keen to raise funds for it, that’s great news. Have one person register it and assume responsibility. Then pick your drive date, choosing from October 13th, 20th or 27th, 2018. Please note: Registration for the bottle drive CLOSES one month before your chosen drive date.

Now that you’ve registered for The Great Prairie Bottle Harvest what do you do?

Once you’ve completed your registration (it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes) and chosen a cause, the Alberta Depot will furnish you with a range of media materials to help make it successful. Promote your cause to neighbours, members and local businesses via door hangers along with both digital and social media materials so you get your message out.

Don’t forget that “Most giving is 80% emotion and 20% rational. And the best way to get to someone’s emotions is to tell a story.” – Unknown. So what’s your story to get people on board to both support the environment and your cause?

How to get the most out of your bottle drive.

The Alberta Depot has a lot of information on their website on how to make the bottle drive successful. Some of the more important points include the following:

  • Distribute door hangers to both community businesses and households about two weeks before the date of your drive.
  • Ask neighbours to leave their empty beverage containers (bagged and ready for pickup) between 6 AM and 8 AM on the day off the drive. On the door hanger there is information on how to avoid theft of the containers.
  • You can also ask households to personally deliver their bagged containers to the muster point on the pickup day between 8 AM and 11 AM. There will be ongoing security at the muster points.
  • Don’t bypass apartments and condos. Instead contact the building manager and ask if posters can be places in lobbies, elevators and wherever the recycling bins are located. Then coordinate a time to pick all the empties up.

Where do you drop off the beverage containers?

Every cause will be partnered with an Alberta Depot to ensure a smooth, efficient, and rewarding drive for your cause.

Alberta's Great Prairie Bottle Harvest: Why You'll Want to Participate

One of the Bottle Depots in Calgary

Timeline for running a Bottle Drive

The Alberta Depot suggests the following timeline – based on the fact most people like at least their afternoons free of obligations on a weekend.

6 AM – 8 AM: Bagged and tagged containers are left in front of homes
8 AM – 11 AM: Allow three hours to collect all the beverage containers for The Great Prairie Bottle Harvest
11AM – 1PM: Possible event at the muster point but that will vary cause by cause
1 PM: Return all containers to your Alberta Depot partner and learn how much tax-free money you’ve raised.

What containers are refundable?

Containers that have been purchased in Alberta are the only ones that are eligible for a refund. Aluminum cans, glass bottles, metal cans, plastic drink bottles and jugs are all fair game provided the container also has an English-French label, measurements in mls and no Surgeon General Warning. For information on what does and doesn’t qualify check out Recycling 101 where you can learn all the ins and outs of recycling in Alberta.

What you and your cause need to do NOW.

  • Register for The Great Prairie Harvest– and do it at least a month before the drive.
  • Learn all the ins and outs of organizing a successful bottle drive by visiting this page.
  • Don’t forget to see if there is a drive close to home. Scroll through registered causes here.

Click on this link to watch the video – and to see how easy it is to make money for your cause.

Thank you to the Alberta Depot for making this post possible.

Leigh McAdam



Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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