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SARCAN: Unusual Suspects campaign paying Saskatchewan recyclers extra in December

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WATCH: SARCAN, a business frequently used by Saskatchewan residents has launched a new program that runs until Dec. 20 – Dec 3, 2021

Running throughout the month of December, up until the 20th all SARCAN locations across Saskatchewan are running a promotion to recycle the ‘Unusual Suspects.’

These suspects include milk cartons, milk jugs, cream cartons, drinkable yogurt containers, juice boxes and batteries.

“The cartons and the aseptic packaging (juice boxes), are about a 54-per-cent return rate,” SARCAN Deputy of Operations Kevin Acton explained.

That is a stark comparison to the more commonly recycled items that SARCAN sees on a daily basis, which consist of cans, plastics and glass bottles.

“The three top ones right now, they’re all in the mid-80s to high 80-per-cent return rate,” Acton said.

Read more: SARCAN continues to be busy, paying out an average of $1.8M a week

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The Unusual Suspects promotion is a prompt for residents throughout the province to start bringing in their dairy and juice containers to be recycled and it comes with a monetized incentive: 10 cash prizes will be awarded including the top prize of $250.

“People don’t realize that some of the specialty cartons within some of those sectors are recyclable,” Acton explained. “Like the soy milk, the rice milk, and the oat milk, people just don’t know that they’re all a part of the return program.”

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To be entered, all participants have to do is use the hashtag #SARCANUnusualSuspects on any social media platform while taking a picture at the supermarket purchasing one of the unusual suspect items, or while placing the item into their recycling bin.

Contestants can enter as many times as they like, increasing their chances of winning a prize.

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The brain trust at SARCAN hopes that with the added cash prize to recycle these items they become more commonly seen at the recycling depot.

Read more: SARCAN takes in 21M containers, pays out $2.5M since reopening

“We wanted to have a little bit of fun with it,” Acton explained. “So, we gathered the group together, the cartons and containers and gave them some names and some nicknames and we’ve had a really good response so far from the public.”

“We have seen a big increase of milk cartons and milk jugs and drinkable yogurts and batteries too,” depot supervisor Tammy Kardynal added.

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SARCAN is in the midst of what Acton believes will be a record-setting year for recycling in the province and with the added focus on the unusual suspects, he says they should have no problem hitting that milestone which was previously set at 458-million containers returned in 2018.

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“We expect to recycle over 500-million containers at SARCAN this year,” Acton explained. “It’s pretty incredible when you think about it, considering we’re only a province of just over a million people.”

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