More Options Coming for Returning Bottles and Cans
Michiganders seeking their 10-cent deposit on bottles and cans will soon have more options for redeeming their deposits, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
With the state entering “Phase 2” on October 5, all grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers with reverse vending machine must reopen their bottle return facilities and resume the collection of returnable bottles and cans to refund outstanding deposits.
Retailers with other types of bottle return facilities ? including facilities staffed by employees and requiring more than minimal person-to-person contact ? may reopen those return facilities at their discretion.
All retailers reopening their bottle return facilities during “Phase 2” must ensure that those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols and restrictions, including the most recent state-mandated safeguards to protect workers.
In addition, retailers may take any or all the following steps at their discretion:
- Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a deposit refund amount of $25, as outlined in state law.
- Establish special or limited hours of operation for return facilities.
- Limit the number of available and operating reverse vending machines.
- Periodically close return facilities as needed for cleaning and supply management.
- Implement other procedures or restrictions as necessary to promote safety, efficiency, or both.
If individuals recycle their bottles or cans instead of returning to a retailer for the 10-cent deposit, state law outlines that 75% of the previously collected bottle deposit money is automatically deposited into the state’s Cleanup and Redevelopment Trust Fund and 25% is returned to the retailers.
The collection of returnable beverage containers was suspended by an executive order issued by Governor Whitmer on March 23, 2020.
This temporary suspension supported Michigan’s fight against the coronavirus by permitting grocery stores and other retailers to immediately shift employees from container collection and deposit redemption duties to other areas where they were more urgently needed, and to protect the health and safety of retailers, their employees, and all Michigan residents.
The state Treasury Department will issue further guidance regarding additional phases of the re-establishment of the bottle deposit program when health and safety conditions are appropriate.