If you’ve had bags of bottles and cans stacking up during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can finally get your deposit back soon. But you may only be able to get back a maximum of $25 a day, so it might take you a few trips.
The Department of Treasury announced Monday that some retailers must start to accept returnable beverage containers starting on June 15. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer suspended this practice in a March 23 executive order to free up grocery workers for more essential tasks during COVID-19.
This applies to retailers with bottle return facilities located at the front of the store or housed in a separate area and serviced exclusively by reverse vending machines requiring minimal or no person-to-person contact.
Retailers reopening their bottle return facilities must ensure those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols and restrictions, including the most recent state-mandated safeguards to protect workers.
Retailers may take any or all of the following steps:
- Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a $25 deposit refund.
- Establish special or limited hours of operation for bottle return facilities.
- Limit the number of available and operating reverse vending machines.
- Periodically close bottle deposit facilities as needed for cleaning and supply management.
During this initial phase, retailers must limit the volume of weekly returned beverage containers to no more than 140% of their average weekly collection volume for the period April and May 2019. Treasury will issue further guidance regarding additional phases of the reestablishment of the bottle deposit program in the near future.
Consumers have the option of recycling their returnable beverage containers if they choose not to return them to a bottle deposit redemption facility.