Ok, so your favorite beverage is on sale and you are super excited to be able to stock up. You go to check out and yep, that's when you remember that New York State passed what is commonly referred to as "The Bottle Law" a while back.

So you are now required to pay a 5-cent deposit on certain beverage items.

What are you legally required to pay 5-cent deposit on in New York State?

Here is what the law says:

New York's Returnable Container Act requires at least a 5 cent deposit on carbonated soft drinks, beer and other malt beverages, mineral water, soda water, water and wine cooler containers. Although commonly called the Bottle Bill, the Act includes more than bottles: A deposit is required on glass, metal and plastic containers that hold less than one gallon or 3.78 liters. To encourage reuse and recycling, both refillable and nonrefillable containers carry a deposit

I recently ran into a store that was incorrectly charging bottle deposits on items that it was not supposed to, click here.

So what happens when you pay your 5 cent bottle can deposit? Can the store just keep it?

You are entitled to get that money back, you know. You can bring that store back to any store in New York State that sells that exact item. For instance, if you bought the 6-ounce size at store A, you cannot bring it back to store B, if they only sell the 20-ounce size.

  • Stores can refuse to give you the 5 cents if it is for a product they don't sell
  • Stores can limit the number of recyclables you return to 240 items per day.
  • Smaller businesses can limit your returns to 72 items per day.
  • The label needs to be on the item. No label showing deposit, no return.

Have you ever had a place refuse your returns? What did you do about it? Have you ever been to a retailer that has improperly charged you a deposit on an item? How did you handle that?

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