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Spring cleaning: Good For your home and the environment

(NC) Ontario households will soon embark on the annual tradition of spring cleaning. Organizing your basement or garage is a great way to free up space. While cleaning out your home, it is important to remember cardboard, plastic, cans and glass can be recycled. But this does not necessarily mean tossing these items in the Blue Box.

Returning wine, spirits and cooler containers to The Beer Store for your deposit refund not only benefits your wallet; it prevents unnecessary items from entering landfills.

“The glass and cardboard collected is used by Ontario manufacturers, reducing the cost of manufacturing locally and its environmental impacts. It's a win-win situation that we're proud to make possible,” says Ted Moroz, President of the Beer Store.

Since 2007, all containers over 100 mL sold through the LCBO and Ontario winery, distillery and brewery retail stores (including glass bottles, aluminum cans, tetra pak wine cartons, plastic liquor bottles and chill packs) carry a 10- or 20-cent deposit. And they all can be returned to The Beer Store.

In 2012-13, over 302 million – or about 80 per cent - containers were returned through the Ontario Deposit Return Program, which is funded by the LCBO. But that means almost 75 million containers still ended up in a landfill or the Blue Box.

While the Blue Box effectively recovers recyclable material, the deposit-return system allows for source separation of container types to ensure a higher quality of recyclable materials. For example, glass bottles are separated by colour, which ensures all glass is recycled into high-value products like new bottles or fibreglass. And it frees up space in the Blue Box, allowing municipalities to expand their recycling programs, so more packaging overall is diverted from landfills.

“The Ontario Deposit Return Program has had great success across the province. By taking an active role, the people of Ontario are not only contributing to a dynamic and innovative business climate but helping to protect the environment for present and future generations,” says Charles Sousa, Ontario's Minister of Finance.

These financial and environmental benefits should make cleaning out the garage a little more appealing.

Word count: 350

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