Recycling Services: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Vecova’s Recycling Service provides a variety of programs to divert waste from landfills, conserve resources, save energy, feed a green economy and contribute to a healthy Alberta. If your question isn’t answered below, please contact us!



Recycling Services

A: Vecova’s Recycling Services is one of the organization’s social enterprises, which includes its Bottle Depot, Bottle Pick-Up Service and University of Calgary recycling contract.

A: Vecova’s Recycling Services demonstrates the belief that a business can operate profitably and ethically with an inclusive workforce. As a social enterprise, all proceeds go directly to supporting Vecova’s programs, services and research.

A: Revenue generated through the activities of Vecova’s Recycling Services goes towards supporting Vecova. Vecova provides a wide range of programs and services in the Calgary, Bighorn Municipal District, Rocky View County Municipal District and Banff National Park region for persons with disabilities . Our programs and services meet the changing needs of our consumers, so they may reach their fullest potential and benefit from the highest possible quality of life. Learn more about our programs here.

Bottle Depot

A: As a social enterprise representing Vecova, our goal is to ensure the customer has received a fair and accurate refund. We use a few different methods to maintain our high level of accuracy. First is through TOMRA’s Sorting Solutions, the automated bottle depot counting/sorting technology we use at Vecova. Second is through industry regulator inspections through secret shopper evaluations, which ensures that our depot is compliant and accurate with counting. Finally, in the event of a counting dispute, we utilize surveillance cameras to review counts when requested. This can take up to 72 hours.

A: You can leave caps on, but please ensure the bottle is empty and the label is left on.

A: While the depot staff appreciate this extra effort, it is not required. Sorting your bottles helps the depot function more efficiently; it is much easier and faster to process if all like containers are grouped together.

A: While it’s not required, washing bottles removes residues and eliminates odours which not only helps maintain our depot’s cleanliness and but also detracts flies, mice and other pests. The results of rinsing your containers makes processing your order much nicer for the staff as well.

A: In Alberta, the regulation guides depots to provide a refund for any registered beverage container sold in the province of Alberta. This includes, pop, water, milk and dairy products, and alcoholic beverages. You can use the portal at the BCMB site to determine if a container is registered for a deposit here Products – BCMB Inc.

A: If you leave your bottles at Vecova’s Bottle Depot we will process the product and the funds are then donated to Vecova anonymously.

Vecova is a registered charity. If you wish to donate and receive a tax receipt, please see one of the depot staff to fill out the labels for your bags.

For more information on bottle depot recycling in Alberta, please visit

Bottle Pick-Up Service

A: At this time, we only support pick-ups for donation. However, we complete commercial pickups for a fee and provide a refund, but this is specifically for larger scale programs such as the University of Calgary, SAIT, MRU, etc. Contact us for more information.

A: Pick-ups are usually every 10 weeks, which is the average time it takes for a household to fill a Vecova bag or two. If you accumulate that amount of volume in a shorter period of time, please contact us and we can arrange for more frequent pick-ups.

A: Unfortunately, you must have a private entrance to be part of our Bottle Pick-Up Service. However, we are able to set up an entire complex with our service. Please contact us for more information.

A: Yes, many of our consumers only need a one-time or two-time pick-up a year. These consumers are not added to a regular schedule and are signed up as “call-in” consumers. Once signed up, you can simply contact us when you’re ready for Vecova to pick up your bottles.

A: Yes, you can! Drop off your donation at Vecova’s Bottle Depot. Please ask for a donation sticker from the cash office at the depot and fill in your name and contact information. Your bottles will be added to your donations.

A: Our pick-ups are arranged by neighbourhood. For example, if we have 70 pick-ups in Tuscany on a certain day, it may be difficult for our drivers to also complete a pick-up in Silverado. However, we will work with you to find an alternative day if the scheduled date doesn’t work for you. Contact us to change your pick-up day.

A: It may be difficult to receive your reminders or donation summary, but we will still mail your tax receipt to your home at the end of each year.

A: Yes, we can send email, text or telephone reminders. Email reminders are sent two days before pick-up and a text or telephone call is sent the night before pick-up.

A: No, we only accept containers that you pay a deposit on. For more information on what we accept and don’t accept, please visit

A: Our drivers are regularly tested on their estimation skills and we strive to achieve a goal of +/- 5%. We have continually met that benchmark since Vecova’s Bottle Pick-Up Service started. If you feel a mistake was made on your donation estimate, please contact us and we will work with you to ensure it is accurately captured.

A: Yes, contact us when you need an extra pick-up and we can book a day that works for you.

A: There are a number of factors that determine the time and date of a pick-up schedule. On a given route, there can be anywhere from 50-80 other consumers we are picking up donations from. Sometimes we receive extra pick-up requests or new sign-ups.

A: Contact us and we can make different arrangements for where you can set your recycling out on pick-up day.

A: The text assistant will automatically respond to the keywords: SKIP, CANCEL, INSTRUCTIONS, UNSKIP, NEXT PICKUP, SCHEDULE, OPT OUT.

Bottle Pick-Up Mobile App

A: Not at all – just like our service, it’s completely free!

A: Your bottle pickups are typically scheduled every 10 weeks and you can view your schedule and next pickup in the app.  If you’re not on a regular schedule, you can request a pick-up in the app and someone from our team will reach out to you to find a date that works.

A: Yes, all your past pick-ups are in the app and you can see a summary of your pick-ups at anytime.

A: Not currently, but this is something we’re looking at in the future.

A: We typically try to complete your pick-up within 7 days of your request at a maximum, one of our representatives will reach out to you or you will receive a notification in the app or via email or text depending on your preference.

A: No, however for larger pick-ups (more than 20 bags) we do appreciate advanced notice so we can ensure we’re prepared for the volume.

A: You can contact us through the app or by emailing us at

A: Use the search term “Vecova bottle pickup” in your app store. You can find it here on the Apple App Store, and here on Google Play.