Medicine River Wildlife Centre executive director Carol Kelly, right, delivers six boxes to Maureen Hermary in Red Deer who will be helping to collect recyclable drink containers for the wildlife centre. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Medicine River Wildlife Centre collecting drink containers

Clients and volunteers required

Medicine River Wildlife Centre is offering a new collection service so busy Central Albertans can get rid of their drink containers and raise money for the non-profit centre at the same time.

Volunteers will leave a collection bin at homes or businesses as regularly as required, record pick-ups and provide an income tax deductible receipt at the end of the year.

MRWC executive director Carol Kelly said she was surprised to find out just how many people don’t bother taking their containers to bottle depots.

“They just throw them in the garbage,” Kelly said on Wednesday.

“We’ll provide the bin. Just throw them in the bin instead of throwing them in the garbage.”

Kelly delivered three bins to a Red Deer volunteer Wednesday afternoon. About seven people in Central Alberta are already signed up for the service.

The centre hopes about 100 participants will sign up who don’t already give their containers to other charities. Money raised will go towards the wildlife centre’s operational costs.

She said the centre has been busy with 2,100 clients at wildlife hospital so far this year. In the fall, it’s mostly birds injured during migration and some animals.

More fowl could end up at the centre in the weeks to come, she said.

“With this weather there are things that are sticking around, they’re not migrating. There’s still lots of swans and ducks and geese so we may get some of those when winter suddenly happens,” Kelly said.

Red Deer City Coun. Lawrence Lee, who suggested the drink container pickup service to MRWC, said he had heard how well the program has worked for other charities and also promotes volunteerism.

“Volunteerism is so vital to building communities so it’s a great project,” Lee said.

The wildlife centre is looking for both volunteers to pick up collection containers and clients who want to sign up for the new service.

To participate, call the centre at 403-728-3467 or e-mail

Medicine River Wildlife Centre, located west of Innisfail, treats injured and orphaned wildlife so they can return to their natural environment.

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