New Bill Would Establish a 10 Cent Deposit/Refund for Bottles and Cans in New Jersey

A new bill introduced in the New Jersey Legislature would create a container deposit and refund system in the state to encourage the return of used and empty beverage containers to manufacturers for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal.

Titled the “Beverage Container Deposit Act,” the would establish a 10 cent refund for all empty recyclable bottles returned after use.

Under the container deposit and refund system established in the bill, a distributor (including a manufacturer or other person) who sells a filled beverage container to a dealer in the State will be required to charge a $0.10 refundable container deposit surcharge on that container, which is to be paid by the dealer and collected and recorded by the distributor.

A dealer who sells a filled beverage container to a consumer will then be required to charge the consumer the $0.10 deposit that was originated by the distributor on the container.

The bill would require a dealer to accept for return, from any person, an empty returnable container of any kind, size, and brand that is sold or offered for sale by the dealer, and to pay the container’s refund value, in cash, to the person returning the container, regardless of whether that person is the original customer who purchased the filled container or whether the filled container was originally sold by the dealer.

A dealer may limit, to $25, the total dollar amount of container refunds that may be daily issued to a single person.

A distributor would similarly be required to accept for return, from any dealer, an empty returnable container of any kind, size, and brand that is sold or offered for sale by the distributor, and to pay the dealer the full refund value of the container, in cash.

The law would also require the state Department of Environmental Protection to establish “beverage container redemption centers” throughout the state to assist the bottle return process.

Ten other states already have similar bottle bills, many of whom have had their laws in place for decades, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.

Businesses that fail to follow the bottle return system could face penalties of between $100 and $1,000.

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  1. This is a great idea whose time has finally come …in 1971. More containers are recycled today than ever before because no one has to store and transport the empties themselves and then negotiate with the guy at the junkyard.

  2. Super excited to pay even more for already over-priced drinks, and invite the homeless and others to tear open our garbage bags in search of bottles and cans.

    This reminds me of NYC, some 25 years ago. By now the normal people ran away, and the streets are covered in homeless and trash.

    Please learn from others what not to do.

    NJ is already among the top 10 states for best recycling. No need for this kind of headache and expense.

  3. Another excuse for a tax in the name of the environment. Only a fraction of the cans ever get returned for a refund. The rest gets pocketed by the State.

  4. now at least the homeless will be able to get a steady income, going through the garbage and collecting the bottle, now they can afford to get a real place to live, so I think it’s a great opportunity.

  5. The supermarkets and grocery’s will hate it. We will have elderly rummaging through our recycling bins and old pickup trucks overflowing with clear trash bags full of cans and bottles all over the roads. And beverage and bottled water prices will increase by the deposit amount or more.
    I live on a main road so maybe I wouldn’t have as much bottles tossed onto my lawn.

  6. New York collects more than $100 million in 5-cent deposits that go unclaimed each year. Just another way for the state to increase revenue.

  7. From now on I’m saving up all my bottles and cans that I paid a 5 cent deposit on in NY and I’m bringing them to NJ and getting 10 cents back!

    • It’s technically illegal to do that. You are being REFUNDED the 10¢ that was paid. If the original 10¢ deposit wasn’t paid in NJ you have no right to that refund in NJ.
      (Why I know this? Long story…:-)

  8. One way of shifting recycling cost from government to consumers. It also increases your cost of a 40 pack of Poland spring water by 57%.
    Things are expensive as is and you are adding more cost..

  9. It was only a matter of time. There is no room in this country anymore for those who believe in small government. I think we should charge a deposit on any food package sold, so the drunken sailors in Trenton have more to spend.

  10. We already put the bottles in our recycling bin, why should we pay to return them to the store for cash? Lakewood makes money off the recycling program. If we return our bottles they won’t get that money. Are we supposed to let our bottles pile up in the house until we get a chance to return them? This is a horrible idea, worse than having to provide your own shopping bags.

  11. Maybe we should all drop our bottles and cans in this dummys front yard and let him take care of them another great idea from a politician

  12. Like I need another errand to add to my list. I live in a small house. Don’t have space to store piles of bottles til I get around to it.
    this is a burden on the citizens. And we thought separating the trash from the recycling was bad. Idiots

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