who is calgary can?

Calgary Can is a group of Calgarians who are dedicated to reducing waste and improving recycling opportunities in Calgary by collaborating with the bottle picking community. 

Our vision is that bottle pickers are valued and compensated for their environmental and economic contributions; and our mission is to create a community-driven enterprise that involves and employs bottle pickers on their own terms.

There are innovative and inspiring organizations working with bottle pickers across Canada and we're proud to be partners with them! Check out The Binners' Project in Vancouver and Les Valoristes in Montreal to find out more about what's happening on the informal recycling front in other cities!


News AND Updates




Binner's Hook

Come by the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA) to check out Calgary Can's new Binner’s Hook! We are pleased to be piloting this local initiative with the Binner’s Project (in Vancouver) and the HSCA.

What is the Binner's Hook?

This simple, high-grade stainless steel hook provides small business's and community members a convenient place to hang up refundable containers for bottle pickers or other people in need to collect! You can also hang other items of value that you don't need or are no longer using, such as extra fruits and vegetables from your garden, other food items, clothing and shoes etc.

The hook was originally invented in Vancouver by The Binner's Project, and Calgary Can has now brought it to Calgary to continue the movement they started!


    How can I get a Binner's Hook?

    To get your own Binner's Hook for your home or business, please email info@calgarycan.ca and request your hook. 

    Each hook costs $20 - please note that this cost allows Calgary Can to cover the price of the hook's fabrication and shipping from Vancouver. Calgary Can will not make a profit from the sale of these hooks. Each hook will also come with an info postcard and installation instructions. 

    Why is this HOOK important?

    For bottle pickers:

    • A single day of bottle picking can involve walking 45 km or more to make less than minimum wage →  the hook allows bottle pickers to gather recyclable material faster and therefore increase their profit opportunity per km.
    • Bottle picking can be dangerous work as there may be hazardous materials within our city garbage bins, streets or alleyways → the hook prevents bottle pickers from having to dig through bins, greatly reducing their risk of injury or strain.
    • Bottle picking is generally not seen as a legitimate career choice, and because of this, people fear bottle pickers in their community → the hook serves as a tool to show appreciation for the social and environmental contribution bottle pickers are making, as people using the hook are seen as ‘supporters’ of their work.

    For community members, using the hook will:

    • Give community members a chance to directly support informal recycling and increased wages and safety for bottle pickers.
    • Ensure less bottle pickers dig through bins, which will contribute to cleaner streets, less noise, etc.
    • Allow more community members to contribute to bottle recycling programs. By participating, the thousands of refundable containers that still go to landfills, communities, or waterways can be diverted.
    • Create a new space for community members to share items they no longer need or use, with both bottle pickers and other community members in need.


    and sponsors

    Calgary Can wouldn't be where it is today without the help and support of these amazing organizations:


    Contact Us

    Are you a bottle picker in Calgary? Do you want to work with Calgary Can in some way or become a member of our Bottle Picker Advisory Committee? If so, please fill out the form below and introduce yourself!

    We are always looking for passionate and dedicated people to join our team at Calgary Can. If you care about our community, and the contribution that bottle pickers make, then please consider leaving us feedback, volunteering at an event or donating to our organization.


    Name *