May 6, 2014 12:55 pm

Downtown Eastside bottle depot moves out of neighbourhood

Mark Ralston/Getty Images

A popular bottle depot in the Downtown Eastside has closed and moved 10 blocks south of the neighbourhood.

The United We Can bottle depot, which was on East Hastings Street near Carrall for almost 20 years, re-opened yesterday at a new location on Industrial Avenue near the Olympic Village.

The depot’s old location is being redeveloped for a mixed use social housing and rental project.

General Manager Gerry Martin says the new facility is four times larger and much cleaner and more organized.

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“It allows us to expand our services and handle all the binners inside the building — which means no line-ups outside. We can facilitate 40 to 50 people inside the building, all at once and twice as fast as before.”

Martin says the new facility also means less stress for customers, many of whom have mental and physical challenges.

“There’s less chance for agitation in a clean and open space,” says Martin.

He says he has only heard a few complaints about the new depot’s distance from the Downtown Eastside. Martin says he took several binners to the location of the new depot before they moved in to get their input.

“We are still the closest, large-scale bottle depot that gives full price for beer bottles,” he says.

The new facility will also allow for expansion into other types of recycling, including electronics and mattresses.

The depot employs 120 people and is visited by about 700 recyclers per day. It processes over 60,000 beverage containers daily.

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