Bottle returns must open back up in Michigan, per Treasury Department 

    Susan J. Demas

    Michigan residents who have racked up cans and bottles during the COVID-19 pandemic can now redeem them at retailers statewide, the state Department of Treasury said Thursday.

    All grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers with bottle and can return facilities “must open their return facilities, resume the collection of returnables and refund customer deposits,” the department announced. 

    Retailers with return facilities need to ensure they’re complying with an Oct. 9 emergency order from the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that mandates gathering limits and face coverings in public spaces. 

    Retailers may take any or all the following steps at their discretion, according to the state Treasury Department:

    • 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
    C.J. Moore
    C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.