State Eyes Full Resumption of Bottle Redemption
Retailers to Resume Limited Operations May 20, With Full Resumption by June 3
Following extensive discussion between the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and many stakeholders, retailers will resume bottling redemption activities on a limited basis beginning May 20, with a full resumption of operations by June 3.
Since March 17, DEEP has allowed retailers to temporarily suspend their redemption activities, providing them with greater flexibility to more effectively maintain and manage their store environments with a focus on product supply and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retailers are planning to resume bottle operations on a limited basis on May 20, with a full resumption of operations by June 3. Details of the phase in will be posted at retail locations and will likely include a daily limit on the number of containers, limited hours to facilitate cleaning, and appropriate social distancing requirements and the wearing of masks.
Beginning May 20, Connecticut retailers that fail to accept empty beverage containers for redemption under the law known as the “bottle bill” will once again be subject to enforcement actions by DEEP.
Throughout this time, most independent bottle redemption centers in Connecticut have continued to redeem deposit containers, and some retail stores have chosen to do so as well. DEEP maintains a list of redemption centers in Connecticut on its website:
It is recommended that residents check with a redemption location to ensure it is open before heading there with a collection of containers to redeem. Also, please make sure any containers that you are seeking to redeem are free of product, rinsed and not comingled with other materials, as redemption service providers may not accept dirty containers with contaminants.
Resumption of redemption services at retail locations is very important, as recycling is a vital component of Connecticut’s solid waste management system, and deposit container redemption provides recyclers with a high-quality feedstock while reducing litter and greenhouse gas emissions.
DEEP commends the frontline retail associates who have continued to work throughout the pandemic, performing essential services including recycling. In order to keep these essential workers safe, it is recommended that anyone working to collect bottles at a redemption facility wear nitrile gloves when in the process of redeeming deposit containers, due to things like norovirus and other viruses and bacteria that could survive on surfaces for an extended period of time. Such PPE is expected to be equally protective against COVID-19. If the employer is not able to provide that PPE to their employees for any reason, the state Department of Public Health would advise them to cease those redemption operations until adequate PPE was available. For additional information on this topic, please refer to this OSHA webpage: