The provincewide service welcomed back customers on June 8 and less than two weeks in, SARCAN received 21 million containers while paying out $2.5 million.
Three weeks later, business is still booming.
“Yeah, it’s been really wild. I don’t think there’s been a day when the lines have not been outside the doors of any of our locations in Regina or Saskatoon,” said Sean Homenick, SARCAN spokesperson.
Homenick said SARCAN is seeing historic highs.
“We’re averaging about $1.8 million paid out a week. We’ve paid out over $8 million since we reopened just under a month ago,” Homenick said.
“We’re pumping a lot of money back into the Saskatchewan economy.”
The pandemic shut SARCAN down during what is usually its busiest time of the year, and as a result, Homenick said, every day now seems to be the busiest day of the year.
“Usually, our busiest days of the year would be a day after a holiday or after a long weekend,” Homenick said.
“We’re seeing, especially in Saskatoon and Regina and some of the bigger cities, that it’s kind of like our busiest day every day since we’ve reopened. We’ve taken in about 68 million containers from customers all over the province.”
SARCAN also offers its Drop and Go service, allowing customers to drop off their bottles and then choose to either receive payment through PayPal or cheque. Customers also have the option of donating their return.
While encouraged, Homenick said the uptick in people using its Drop and Go service presents a challenge in terms of keeping up with demand.
“It’s almost too successful,” Homenick said. “In select locations, we’re seeing 60 percent of the containers going in through the Drop and Go system, which is great to see because it is the safest in the quickest way.
“But it also presents its challenges when you’ve kind of shifted the majority of your containers away from the front of the line service to the dropping down system.”
Despite having to shut its doors during the pandemic, SARCAN continued to pay its employees.
“Our employees are SARCAN’s greatest asset,” said SARCAN’s executive director Amy McNeil in a statement on March 21.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our employees healthy, safe and financially secure during these unpredictable times.”
SARCAN operates 73 recycling depots in 65 communities across the province.