The Michigan Department of Treasury released the following on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020:
Effective immediately, 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.
Retailers that typically accept bottles and cans and provide deposits will be reopening their facilities, regardless of where such facilities are physically located, serviced by reverse vending machines, staffed by employees, or some combination of the two.
All retailers with return facilities must ensure that those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols to protect both workers and the public under the emergency order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 9, 2020.
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.
If individuals recycle their bottles or cans instead of returning to a retailer for the 10-cent deposit, state law outlines that 75% of the previously collected bottle deposit money is automatically deposited into the state’s Cleanup and Redevelopment Trust Fund and 25% is returned to the retailers.
Additional information about the expansion of bottle and can return opportunities can be found in the state Treasury Department’s “Notice Regarding Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Return Program.”