Bottle and can redemption set to resume

Published on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:57
Written by Ciara Hooks


You will soon be able to return those bottles and cans taking up space in your home.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), in collaboration with TOMRA and other stakeholders, announced bottle redemption will resume. Full redemption activities for customers are set to resume on June 3, but limited operations will start May 20 throughout the state.

“Resuming bottle redemption is important for two reasons. First, consumers need to be able to get back the deposit refund they are owed, especially in these challenging times,” said Chuck Riegle, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs & Compliance, TOMRA. “Second, the material collected through the bottle bill is high-quality and critical to the food and beverage supply chain. When bottles and cans are returned to a reverse vending machine, they are separated from other types of waste. This keeps the material free from contamination, so it can be recycled into new bottles and cans. Material collected through other methods is not safe for food contact in this same way. The 10 states with bottle bills recycle about 50% of all beverage containers in the United States.”

DEEP is working on details of the phase-in with stakeholders, but they will “likely” include: a daily limit on the number of containers eligible for redemption; limited hours to facilitate cleaning; appropriate social distancing requirements; and the wearing of masks.

The Connecticut Department of Public Helath (DPH) believes the risk of COVID-19 transmission from handling bottles is low, and the greatest risk of transmission is from person-to-person interaction. The DPH recommends that social distancing take place at retail bottle rooms and redemption centers for both staff and visitors who return empty containers.

On March 16, DEEP announced it would be temporarily exercising “enforcement discretion” toward redemption of deposit containers at retailers that sell beverages subject to Connecticut’s container deposit law. This enforcement discretion was intended to assist retailers, such as supermarkets and big-box stores, in keeping shelves stocked and stores maintained during a period of increased consumer demand.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:57. Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:59.