Even though Calgarians can put their recyclables in their blue bin for pickup, they still have to bring their bottles and cans to a depot to get their initial deposits back. That is, until now.

With the emergence of the app Skip the Depot, people now have the option to have their recyclables picked up and receive fair payment in return.

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Armed with pickup trucks and stick on magnet decals, the Calgary-based start-up picks up the recyclables at your home and pays you 70 per cent of the worth through the app. Skip the Depot takes 30 percent as a fee for their services.

Thomas Gayef first thought about developing an app to revolutionize the way we recycle after various funny escapades caused by the inconveniences of recycling by hand.

“It’s kind of like Uber — instead of people, it’s your bottles and cans,” says Gayef.

Skip the Depot truck.A truck featuring the Skip the Depot decal, used for picking up recyclables. Photo credit: Matthew Hull.

In addition, Skip the Depot offers the option to donate the returns to charities. Johanna Schwartz, the marketing and engagement specialist at The Alex, a health and housing facility, explained that they originally started a similar program, dubbed “Bottles for Health.” The Alex continues to try and experiment with ways to broaden their reach and deepen their impact as a charitable organization.

“We thought, ‘Well, this is perfect.’ If they want to partner with charities, we can let that part of our program go. We can redirect those resources and staff costs to our core needs and then we can also get the benefit from sponsorship and donations that come in through Skip the Depot,” says Shwartz.

In the near future, Skip the Depot aims to collect electronic waste, clothing and food to help charities collect donations.

Editor: Emma Stevens | estevens@cjournal.ca

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