Walk in with some cans. Walk out with some cash!

The classic SARCAN experience – head into one of our depots and have one of our Recycling Technicians count up your containers while you wait. Leave with some cash in your pocket and a smile on your face.

Over-the-Counter Returns

Tried, true, and tested over our 35-year history. Everyone who has grown up in Saskatchewan has a fond memory of collecting cans and bottles, walking them into a SARCAN depot, and walking out with some cash. It is the classic SARCAN experience.

Over-the-counter returns are how SARCAN started way back in 1988 when we only accepted aluminum cans for recycling. Since then, not only have we added many different material streams – like aseptic boxes and cartons, glass, and plastics – we’ve also continually reviewed and updated our operations to make the process more efficient, convenient, and easy.

Here is what to expect when using our Over-the-counter service.

After you’ve prepared your containers with our ‘how-to’ guide and headed out to your local depot, you’ll be greeted by one of our expert Recycling Technicians. All of SARCAN’s employees receive extensive training on how to process your containers and give you the best customer service. Our Recycling Technicians complete nearly 20,000 hours of training every year!

Not to toot our own horn, but we are quite popular! Depending on the size of the depot and the time of year, you may have to wait in line. If you’ve come at the right time – we have a Pro Tip for finding the best time to visit! – and there is no line, one of our RecTechs will direct you to an open chute at the counter.

Set your boxes of glass on the counter and empty your bags of containers into the chute one at a time. A little bit can be a lot sometimes, so wait until our RecTech signals for you to dump the next bag. This is where sorting your recycling by material comes in super handy since it will allow us to count your containers very quickly.

Your RecTech will count up all of your containers, recording those counts on one of our tally sheets. You’d think this is a straight count of all your cans and bottles, but it is a bit more than just that. The deposit you paid when you bought your beverage depends on the type of material and the size of the container, so our RecTechs will record it on the tally sheet in the same manner. You can see all the deposit types and amounts here.

Once all of your containers have been sorted and recorded, your tally sheet is totaled, signed by your RecTech, and handed over for you to take to our cashier. These tally sheets are considered official documents. Making any changes to them or taking them out of the depot can void your entire refund! Be sure to take them straight to the till once you have it to make sure you get your refund.

Fill out the back of the Tally sheet by printing & signing your name and providing your phone number. As we said before, these are official documents, and we need to be sure we are paying out the correct amount to the correct people. By signing, you are agreeing that these are your containers that were bought in Saskatchewan and you are who you say you are. We never use your information for anything other than this purpose.

Now for the fun part – getting paid! Our Cashier enters all of your tally sheet totals into our till to record your containers in our inventory and calculate your refund. For Over-the-counter returns, you will typically get paid in cash for your containers. If your order is significantly over $75, we will require photo id and will write you a cheque for your refund. This is to help keep the lines down with smaller orders and to prevent bootleggers.

Now that you have your refund and receipt, you are good to go. If you would like to see the impact of your recycling visit, check out our Why Recycling Matters page to learn more about how recycling can help lead us to a more sustainable future. And don’t forget to check out SARCAN 101 to get the best recycling tips to make the best recycling trips!

And as always, thank you for recycling at SARCAN!

We hope that you had a great experience! If you did, consider giving our depot team a High-Five or leave the depot you visited a Google Review!