Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season.
And take your empties to the Bottle Depot.
There are dedicated bins there for bottles and cans where the proceeds will go directly to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund and CFAX’s Santas Anonymous — charities supporting families in need this Christmas.
“It’s cashless and not an out-of-pocket expense, that anyone can do during these challenging times … it’s any easy way to donate,” said Bottle Depot chief operating officer Adam Boswick. “And the added benefit is you’re helping the environment at the same time, keeping recyclable products out of landfills.”
On Tuesday, the Times Colonist Christmas Fund reached $705,000 — more than double the amount raised last year — and companies like the Bottle Depot want to make sure the TC continues to raise money so it can help more people in need.
Charity bins are available all month at the three Bottle Depot locations, at Glanford Avenue, Queens Avenue and Quadra Street. If those bins are full, Bottle Depot customers can redirect their refunds to the charity at the checkout till.
Boswick encourages consumers in the capital region to recycle refundable bottles and containers. He estimates that more than a million containers “get lost” in landfills and the environment in the province every day and up to $3,000 worth of containers are tossed into curbside blue bins daily, with the money going to recycling companies contracted by the Capital Regional District.
“By donating you are keeping the funds local,” said Boswick. “It’s 10 cents per container and that can add up quickly, so we’re saying please, please donate them to these very worthwhile charities who are helping real families and people in a real time of need during this already difficult season.”
The first week of collections in December has been “incredible,” said Boswick. “We’re clearing these bins on an hourly basis. It’s fantastic to see the traction we are getting. People are showing they care.”
Boswick estimates about $4,000 was raised during the first week, giving the Christmas Fund and Santas Anonymous about $2,000 each. If the pace continues, each charity could receive up to $8,000 each.
GFL Environmental, which operates returnable-container depots on the West Shore, is also supporting the Times Colonist Christmas Fund.
Customers can donate the proceeds from their bottles and cans by telling depot cashiers they would like the money to go to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund.
Kelsey Young of GFL Environmental said the company is supporting the fund at its Langford location at 1045 Dunford Ave., Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and at its Sooke location, 2032 Idlemore Rd., Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Donations will be accepted at both locations through the month of December, said Young.
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE
To give directly to the Christmas Fund, go to timescolonist.com/donate. That will take you to the Canada Helps website, which is open 24 hours a day and provides an immediate tax receipt.
Or mail a cheque, payable to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund Society, to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria V9A 6X5.
Or use your credit card by phoning 250-995-4438 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Outside those hours, messages will be accepted.