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The day people with mountains of empties and recyclables in Yellowknife have been waiting for has finally arrived.

The Bottle Depot reopens for business Wednesday, the first day of operations since the Covid-19 pandemic forced its shutdown. As with other businesses opening up since the beginning of the pandemic, there are several rules and protocols in place. They include a limit of two people in the depot at any one time and waiting in your vehicle until it’s your turn to go inside.

The sign outside The Bottle Depot informs potential customers that the location will be reopening for business Wednesday. With the reopening comes several protocols that people must follow, such as a maximum of two people in the depot at one time and remaining in your vehicle until it’s your turn to go in.
James McCarthy/NNSL photo

A post on the depot’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon stated that there will be people controlling traffic outside.

Another burning question is what will happen if traffic backs up onto Old Airport Road, similar to when the city reopened the solid waste facility last month?

Mayor Rebecca Alty said that municipal enforcement knows about it and will be monitoring the situation with an eye on helping out if necessary.

Yellowknifer attempted to contact the depot’s manager for details but didn’t receive a response by publication deadline.

You can find the full list of safety protocols here.

For Alex Brockman, knowing the depot will be reopening brings a huge sigh of relief as all of his recyclables collecting at his house can finally disappear.

“I think I have about $20 worth of empties sitting on my back porch so getting those out of the way sounds like a good reason to go and buy something nice for myself,” he said.

He likened returning his recyclables to a spring cleaning rite of passage.

“It is another step toward normalcy and getting back to the way we’re used to doing things, so it’s good to see that we’re doing these sorts of things in steps. It’s like one down, next one to come and so on,” said Brockman.

The depot will be open from Tuesday through Saturday each week with hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. It will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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  1. I think people needed to stop bitching about them being closed…if you have empties piling up that’s not their problem there’s all these entitled self important people who think they can say they should be essential…NEWS FLASH….it’s up to ENR GNWT….I’ve seen day in and day out a lot of Yellowknifers talking crap about the bottle shop before the pandemic I’ve seen people pull the race card and the “I work for ENR card “ when this rules are being explained treat the bottle shop right folks…these guys do more work than any government worker I know

  2. I would have considered this an essential service and not have had it close down. This was certainly a mistake. Like the business’ that did stay open, there were all kinds of ways to protect the patrons & workers – like the measure for only 2 at a time and waiting in your car until called. Similarly, the dump should not have closed down either. Another mistake.