Michigan residents with bottles and cans still piled up will soon have more options for redeeming their 10-cent deposits, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced Monday.
On Oct. 5, grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers with reverse vending machines for returnable bottles and cans must open to refund outstanding deposits.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer suspended collections of returnable beverage containers on March 23 due to the COVID-19 crisis. In June, she allowed some returns, but that was limited to facilities that had collection spaces in the front of businesses.
Retailers with other types of bottle return facilities, including businesses staffed by employees and requiring more than minimal person-to-person contact, may reopen those return facilities at their discretion.
The department said 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.