If you think you?ve never used a Product Stewardship program, it?s a fairly easy bet that you?re wrong–have you ever taken a beverage container to the depot and gotten your deposit back? Ready-to-drink beverage containers are part of the most widely used stewardship program in Canada, and are a great example to explain just what Product Stewardship is. BC was the first place in North America to introduce a mandatory deposit system in 1970, to help combat the problem of littered beverage containers. This program, and other like it, makes everyone involved in the lifecycle of the product responsible for its disposal.

When you buy a bottle of pop at the store, a refundable deposit is charged, as well as a recycling or eco-fee. These fees are used to fund the Stewardship programs, which make sure the products are disposed of safely and responsibly. In the case of beverage containers, this simply means that they are collected for recycling or reuse, but Stewardship programs for other products exist to help prevent toxic materials from ending up in the solid waste stream or in the water treatment system. Programs exist for more materials than some people may be aware of:

Paint ·Solvents, flammable liquids and household pesticides · Expired medications ·Rechargeable batteries ·Tires ·Oil · Electronics (Computers and televisions)

All of these programs are available in the Peace River Region, serving the very important purpose of keeping toxic materials out of our environment. It is important to remember to never dispose of any liquids or medications by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them down the drain. If you have any questions regarding these programs, or whether or not a material is covered by a Stewardship Program, NEAT is here to help. We always welcome questions, and we will be at the Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John trade shows with a booth dedicated entirely to Product Stewardship, and armfuls of brochures to help you out!

Or , for immediate information, contact NEAT at (toll-free) 1-888-689-6328 or check out pRRRdy?s website at

(By Morgan Peltier, Eco-Educator)