Digging deeper into container deposit laws

This edition of Dig Deeper explores beverage container recycling laws and the benefits they bring. The third section describes reverse vending machines, a deposit return convenience found in many states. Links to relevant information are provided, including 25 sources for reverse vending machines.


Where are beverage container deposits required?

These 10 states, plus Guam, have beverage container laws

States with beverage container return laws

When container recycling laws — bottle bills — are introduced, advocates promote the environmental benefits of less roadside litter and greater resource conservation. They further assert that the legislation shifts litter cleanup, recycling, and waste disposal costs from all taxpayers to the companies and individuals who produce and consume the beverages.

The National Conference of State Legislators website describes the varied ways that bottle bills work, state-by-state.


What are benefits of container deposit laws?

Information from the Container Recycling Institute

Beverage bottle return

In the 21st century, beverage sales have sparkled while recycling rates have gone flat. That unfortunate combination has had severe environmental impact: larger landfills, more incineration, and more litter. Those impacts have been reduced in states having container recycling laws.

Other benefits cited at BottleBill.org include higher-quality recycled materials and financial incentives to those who recycle.


How can beverage containers be refunded any day, any hour?

A look at Reverse Vending Machines

Reverse vending machines

At many locations, empty beverage containers can be returned for cash, 24/7. Reverse vending machines serve as recycling bins, accepting the containers, and then become ATM, dispensing refunds in cash (coins).

These are 25 of the companies that sell reverse vending machines.

Dig Deeper articles survey the recent reporting about climate change, smart technologies, and workplace wellness. Do you have a topic or article for a future edition? Please leave a note on this website’s Contact page.

Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Sustainability Specialist at ecoPreserve, LLC
LEED AP O+M, CAPM, AHERA Asbestos Inspector - - Driven by creating positive change in the world, Justin uses his project management and consulting expertise on sustainability-focused projects throughout the Central Florida area. His BSBA in Integrated Business from UCF and technical credentials empower his work focusing on LEED certification and zero waste projects with healthcare and public university clients.

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