Support for Recycling Operators in the Northwest Territories

News Releases

Yellowknife — April 30, 2020

Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), announced new funding today to support recycling depots and processing centres during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

This financial support will help offset costs directly associated with loss of income to operators since the closure of recycling depots on March 19, 2020 due to COVID-19.

For processing centres, a one-time payment of $5,000 will be provided while staff and operators explore federal funding opportunities.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will also continue scheduled grant payments to depots that were in regular operation prior to COVID-19 closure.


“In March the decision was made to close our bottle depots for the safety of our operators and staff. It is my hope that this new financial support for these small community-based businesses will assist them until they are able to once again open their doors.”

-Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources



  • There are three regional processing centres in the Northwest Territories eligible for the one-time payment. They are in Inuvik, Hay River and Yellowknife.
  • At least twelve depot operators are eligible for continued grants under the COVID-19 Recycling Operator Support Program. This program was created to help ensure the long-term viability of licensed beverage container depots and processing centres in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and is intended to sustain depots that regularly operated depots in the 2019/20 fiscal year.
  • Depot grants are calculated based on the NWT Food Price Index, the size of the community served by the depot, and whether the depot is a school or a registered non-profit organization.
  • Monthly reporting is not required to trigger grant payments during the state of emergency.
  • Bottle deposits and fees are a critical part of the Beverage Container Program and will remain in place. Residents are encouraged to hold on to their bottles until depots are able to re-open.
  • More than 28 million beverage containers were distributed and more than 24 million were returned in the last fiscal year. The total number of containers returned over the life of the program is more than 336 million.


For all COVID-19 Media Requests, Contact:

Cabinet Communications

Government of the Northwest Territories