A ceremonial recycling of cans at the new depot by MLA Manmeet Bhullar, Co-owner Gagandeep Johal, Mayor Peter Brown and Environment Minister Diana McQueen

Airdrie's new bottle depot on the southern tip of Main Street enjoyed a huge crowd for their official grand opening, Wednesday, June 6.

After torrential rainfall the night before and more threatening, the sun broke through the clouds and smiled on the 2-hour event attended by local and provincial dignitaries. Attendees were treated to a barbeque lunch followed by welcoming speeches and a tour of the new business.

 A welcoming lunch tent

Storage bay area of depot

Depots are a key part of every community across Alberta. They know first-hand the local organizations, community leaders and their needs. As a result, depots are best positioned to champion beverage container recycling in their community.

MLA Manmeet Bhullar attended the event to support the Johal family and commended their diligence in opening the new facility.

A cheque presentation to the Alberta Children's Hospital benefits the Alberta Cans For Kids charity. $2,516.10 for the cause has been raised so far at the local depot.

The deposit and option to return milk containers to Alberta bottle depots came into effect June 1, 2009. Environment Minister Diana McQueen talked about the recycling leader Alberta has become and how close we are to achieving the provincial goal of an 85 percent return rate.

Mayor Peter Brown welcomes Johal family business to Airdrie

The beverage containers shipped to the processing plant are sorted and redistributed to different plants for recycling. Their location depends on the material. Glass is reprocessed here in Alberta along with some plastics. About 25 million pounds of aluminum cans are melted down each year and turned into new aluminum cans.

The new facility boasts state-of-the-art counting technology

Customers can now see their recyclables counted on monitors as staff receive them. A receipt of the totals is printed out to be handed to the cashier.