The COVID-19 pandemic has led most U.S. deposit states and some Canadian provinces to temporarily halt enforcement actions on retailers who suspend bottle and can redemption activities for the duration of the outbreak. Generally speaking, these announcements do not affect redemption centers, who are free to close their doors in the interests of safety if they so choose.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please save bottles & cans for recycling! If you live in one of the states or provinces listed below, please rinse your bottles and cans so they don’t smell while you save them for later redemption. Please note that if curbside pickup is still operating in your area, the containers may not be recycled if area materials recovery facilities (MRFs) have reduced their sorting lines to protect worker health. To avoid your bottles & cans going to landfill, rinse & save for later redemption!
Announcements for Selected U.S. Deposit States:
Connecticut: Suspension of enforcement actions against retailers for failing to accept empty beverage containers for redemption. Effective Mar. 17 – 31, then to be re-evaluated.
Iowa: Suspension of regulatory provisions requiring dealers [retailers] to accept empty deposit beverage containers. Effective for duration of this disaster emergency.
Maine: Suspension of enforcement on retailers and redemption centers for failing to accept beverage containers; Effective Mar. 18 – 31, then to be re-evaluated. Maine Recycling and Returnable Services (TOMRA) and CLYNK are both operating and picking up from redemption centers.
Massachusetts: Suspension of enforcement of the requirements for retailers to accept beverage containers that have a deposit, effective immediately until further notice.
Michigan: Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, defining bottle return as not an essential service or critical infrastructure. “There will be no change in the deposit collected at the time of purchase during this temporary suspension of bottle return services.”
New York: The DEC will not actively enforce violations at facilities unable to fulfill redemption operations due to resource restrictions during the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
Oregon: Suspension of enforcement actions against retailers that choose not to redeem empty beverage containers covered under Oregon’s Bottle Bill. Ends March 31, 2020. BottleDrop redemption centers and Express locations will continue to accept green and blue bags at certain locations.
Vermont: Temporarily stops pursuing enforcement action against retailers or redemption centers who fail to redeem beverage containers subject to Vermont’s bottle bill law. Effective through April 30, 2020 unless extended by DEC.