Bottle Returns To Resume In Michigan Beginning June 15

WWJ News
June 01, 2020 - 4:14 pm
bottle return

(WWJ) If beer bottles or pop cans have been piling up in your garage, there's good news from the state today.

The Michigan Department of Treasury on Monday announced the phased reestablishment of Michigan’s bottle deposit return program.

Beginning June 15, some retailers must reopen their bottle return facilities and resume the collection of returnable beverage containers and refund of customer bottle deposits. 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, officials said.

Retailers reopening their bottle return facilities must ensure they 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 of the following steps: 

  • Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a deposit refund amount of $25, pursuant to MCL 445.572(10).
  • 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.
  • Implement such other procedures or restrictions as each retailer may determine are necessary or advisable to promote safety and/or efficiency. 
  • During this initial phase, retailers must limit the volume of weekly returned beverage containers to no more than 140 percent of their average weekly collection volume for the period April and May 2019. 

If you'd rather not go back into stores yet, that's also OK. Consumers have the option of recycling their returnable beverage containers if they choose not to return them to a bottle deposit redemption facility. the state said. 

The collection of returnable containers was temporarily suspended via Executive Order No. 2020-21, issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer back on March 23 to support the fight against the coronavirus. Grocery stores and other retailers were permitted 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 citizens.