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Car­leton Road In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion open­ing bot­tle ex­change in Mid­dle­ton, Lawrence­town


By the time lo­cal res­i­dents get their New Year’s Eve emp­ties bagged up, Car­leton Road Bot­tle Ex­change in Lawrence­town will be ready to ac­cept them, sort them, and pay cash.

The lat­est so­cial en­ter­prise, of­fered by the out­fit that helps some of the most vul­ner­a­ble to be in­cluded in the com­mu­nity, opens Jan. 8 in Mid­dle­ton and a day later in Lawrence­town.

“There’s a num­ber of small so­cial en­ter­prises that we do, and I guess our vi­sion is the com­mu­nity in­clu­sion piece of that,” said Car­leton Road In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion’s MacKen­zie Akin. “For us to be able to get our clients into the com­mu­nity can some­times be hard, so it’s eas­ier for us to make our own so­cial en­ter­prise and bring the pub­lic to us.”

When Akin heard the Mid­dle­ton bot­tle ex­change was clos­ing and Di­vert Nova Sco­tia was look­ing for a new com­pany to take its place, he knew it was the per­fect fit for CRIA.

While Di­vert NS would have liked to keep the op­er­a­tion in Mid­dle­ton, CRIA of­fered a so­lu­tion that worked. It will set up a mo­bile col­lec­tion cen­tre once a week in Mid­dle­ton and the rest of the week folks can drop off their emp­ties to their 447 Main St. lo­ca­tion in Lawrence­town via the Prince Street en­trance.

To make the Mid­dle­ton mo­bile lo­ca­tion work, CRIA bought a cube van which will be set up near the In­de­pen­dent store and be­hind Pizza Fac­tory on Tues­days from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They’ll haul the bot­tles and cans back to Lawrence­town to be sorted.

Prince Street

Peo­ple want­ing to drop off their bot­tles, cans and juice boxes will be able to drive right up to the doors from 11 Prince St. in Lawrence­town. That en­trance is across Prince Street from Lawrence­town’s vil­lage of­fice. Other re­cy­clables will still go to En­vro De­pots in Le­qui­lle and Green­wood.

“Those lo­ca­tions take your elec­tron­ics, the garages take your tires – we’re not in­volved in any of that. That’s an­other piece of the puz­zle,” said Akin.

He said peo­ple can take other items to Val­ley Waste Re­source in Lawrence­town, in­clud­ing paint. “It’s not some­thing I wanted our clients to be han­dling any­way be­cause that’s a haz­ardous waste.”

When peo­ple take their bot­tles back to the new CRIA lo­ca­tion, they will also be help­ing peo­ple feel more a part of so­ci­ety.

“Car­leton Road In­dus­tries is all about pro­vid­ing a way of life and train­ing for our clients who are men­tally, phys­i­cally, in­tel­lec­tu­ally chal­lenged, and in­clu­sion into the com­mu­nity,” Akin said. “So by get­ting this con­tract we’re go­ing to be able to switch out sev­eral of the clients in the po­si­tions of staff – re­cy­cling, do­ing ac­count­ing, do­ing sort­ing, deal­ing with the pub­lic – which is go­ing to cre­ate a wage for prob­a­bly six of them, part time.”


Car­leton Road’s own staff who over­sees the var­i­ous so­cial en­ter­prises will be work­ing with the clients in the bot­tle ex­change.

“They have to deal with the com­mu­nity that come in, they have to have the train­ing on the cash reg­is­ter, so it should be a great thing for us and the clients,” said Akin.

This is not CRIA’s only ven­ture. “Cur­rently Car­leton Road op­er­ates a small gas sta­tion here which our clients are trained in – there’s a few that are … paid a wage,” he said. “There’s a few that work in our post of­fice that are paid a wage, as well as at our thrift store over across the street which we just opened a year ago and has been a great suc­cess.”

But that’s not all their 46 clients are in­volved in run­ning.

“We have our wood­work­ing de­part­ment which has been here for a num­ber of years and very, very busy. And we have our prop­erty main­te­nance which is ex­tremely busy through­out times of the year when


Akin said com­mu­nity re­sponse has al­ways been great.

“Any­thing from Christ­mas cards, to great ges­tures, to help­ing our clients out if we run into a lit­tle is­sue – maybe they’re work­ing at the cash reg­is­ter and they get over­whelmed be­cause there’s two or three peo­ple in the lineup,” he said. “Peo­ple are re­ally good about wait­ing, hav­ing pa­tience with us while our clients are learn­ing. I sus­pect it will be much the same with this pro­gram.”


MacKen­zie Akin over­sees work be­ing done at the load­ing docks of the old co-op store in Lawrence­town where Car­leton Road In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion is open­ing a bot­tle ex­change off Prince Street, Lawrence­town. Peo­ple will be able to back right up and off­load bot­tles, cans, juice boxes and more. CRIA will op­er­ate a mo­bile bot­tle ex­change in Mid­dle­ton on Tues­days as well.


Car­leton Road In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion cur­rently op­er­ates a gas bar, post of­fice, con­ve­nience store, and thrift store in Lawrence­town. As of Jan. 9, it will op­er­ate a bot­tle ex­change at the west end of the old co-op store.

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