B.C.-based not-for-profit organization Encorp Pacific, better known as “Return-It” is proposing to temporarily operate a bottle depot on Penticton’s Carmi Avenue. (Photo: Encorp Pacific)

B.C.-based not-for-profit organization Encorp Pacific, better known as “Return-It” is proposing to temporarily operate a bottle depot on Penticton’s Carmi Avenue. (Photo: Encorp Pacific)

Penticton council to consider new ‘contactless’ bottle depot on Carmi Avenue

Council will review the applicant’s proposal at a May 3 meeting

An electronically-operated recycling centre where people can return their empty bottles and cans could be coming to Penticton as early as this year.

Encorp Pacific, a B.C.-based organization with recycling centres across the province, is proposing to operate an “Express and Go Station” at 200 Carmi Avenue for the next three years.

The business is unstaffed, contactless and cashless, prompting city staff to say in a report to council that there are “no other businesses in the area that offer this type of service.”

Council will have the opportunity to approve the operation on a temporary basis during their May 3 meeting.

Customers who use the service will have to sign up for an online account, print a label at the station, place their empties in a plastic bag and enter a unique password before the unit electronically sorts through the returns.

According to Encorp, the entire process of returning empties take about one minute.

People who drop off cans and bottles can request payment via e-transfer or cheque using their online account.

“The intent of this Express and Go Station is to provide residents in the area with a convenient, contactless and easy recycling option for their used beverage containers,” the business said in its proposal to Penticton council.

As opposed to operating in a building, the “return-it” centre would act more like an outdoor storage unit, located south of Carmi Avenue and east of Main Street.

The business model was first introduced by the organization in 2019, to which they claimed to “revolutionize the recycling experience.”

The Express and Go Station would be 20 feet in length, occupying three current parking spaces in the process.

If council doesn’t see the three-year timeline proposed as a fit, they may vote on allowing Encorp to operate under a one-year term instead.

READ MORE: Penticton city staff asked to explain how decisions like controversial Peach concession contract are awarded


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logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

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