Binners invited to drop off cans, bottles underneath Jacques Cartier Bridge today

Binners will be able to exchange their cans and bottles for cash at a temporary bottle depot. It's something they would normally not be able to do on la Fête Nationale.

Only 1 in 5 binners who use the service are homeless, says volunteer

Where can binners go on La Fête nationale? Marica Vasquez Tagliero has set up a temporary bottle depot underneath the Jacques Cartier Bridge. (Antoni Nerestant/CBC)

La Fête nationale is not a party for everyone: especially not for binners.

Binners is a word used to describe people who collect cans and bottles, picking them out of garbage and recycling bins, and then returning them in exchange for cash.

Stores and dépanneurs usually take the collected material and return the deposited amount from the bottles, to the customer. But almost all groceries are closed today for the Fête Nationale.

In comes Marica Vasquez Tagliero, co-founder and volunteer at  Les Valoristes solidarity coop, a non-profit organization that encourages people to use refundable, recyclable and reusable materials.

For the the fourth consecutive year, her organization will offer a market for binners, who need a place to drop off their collected materials.

A place for binners

Darren Innis and Marica Vasquez Tagliero sort of cans in a plastic kids pool. They have set up a temporary bottle depot project underneath the Jacques Cartier Bridge. (Antoni Nerestant/CBC)

Vasquez Tagliero and her volunteers set up a temporary bottle depot underneath the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

The process is simple: binners drop off their cans and volunteers from les Valoristes separate the cans and bottles. They then tally up the total value and return a receipt to the binner who can redeem the money at their check-out.

"These people face a lot of discrimination when they go to the traditional outlets for redeeming these containers," said  Darren Innis, a former client turned volunteer.

Darren Innis use to go to the depot to return his cans and bottles, but now he volunteers. (Antoni Nerestant/CBC)

Innis said only one in five of the binners who use the service are homeless.

"These people are taking an active part in bettering their situations.They're out on a daily basis doing hard manual work, when sometimes that's the only work they can do because of whatever challenges they may be facing," said Innis. 

Binners who want to drop off their material can do so from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

with files from Antoni Nerestant