In early June, Michigan retailers officially began accepting cans and bottles with a deposit for redemption and recycling after an 11-week shutdown. During this time, it is estimated that Michiganders stockpiled 800 million containers, worth $80 million in deposits. Due to this tremendous backlog, the Department of Treasury established unprecedented measures to limit the amount of containers retailers could redeem in a week in order to avoid breakdown of the system’s reverse logistics and processing infrastructure.
Since reopening the system, retailers, distributers and their recycling service providers have been working at maximum capacity to collect and process the extremely high volume of stockpiled containers in addition to peak summer container recycling amounts.
For this reason, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy encourages the public continued patience while beverage distributors, retailers and deposit system service providers process an unprecedented volume of containers.
EGLE strongly recommends that consumers check with their local retailer to find out the best time to redeem cans and bottles as bottle rooms may be closed due to mandatory capacity limits. The Department of Treasury has issued a limit of the number of containers recyclers can redeem per day to 250 ($25), and retailers are limited to accepting 140 percent of their 2019 volumes.
Public Safety Guidance
Consumers should follow best practices in COVID-19 prevention to promote public health and safety:
- Wear a mask or face covering in-stores and in lines
- Keep 6 feet of social distance as much as possible. Follow guidance from store signage and floor markings.