Refund of bottle deposits

The other day I noticed a sign in my local grocery which stated they were obliged to refund bottle deposits even without a receipt. A friend of mine who lives in Long Island carefully collects her empty bottles of beer and cans of soda and returns them to her grocery store for a refund. I have never till date done so but always recycle my seltzer/club soda cans and beer bottles. Do any of you do? if you do how does it work? where do you take them back? I have no clue hence the questions.
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31 Comments

I've never tried it. How much do you get per bottle?
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uptowngirl 2yrs+
@ajadedidealist I think if I remember correctly we tend to pay 0.30cents per bottle as a deposit but since I have never claimed a refund I have no idea how the scheme works.
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That's not nothing - it adds up, I mean - but you're going to have to get a heck of a lot of bottles to actually earn some money! It does offset the cost of buying sodas, etc, though.
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hhusted 2yrs+
@Uptowngirl: I never return the bottles. In fact, I hardly buy bottled beverages. Most of what I get is plastic.
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NeverSleeps 2yrs+
I mean, it is practically nothing - but it's better than just throwing them away for free, right? Or it's kind of like a discount on every soda or beer you drink at home!
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uptowngirl 2yrs+
@NeverSleeps and ajadedidealist very true but obviously people do take the trouble to return them and get the refund , I was just wondering how they do it. Hand the bottles to the cashier at the till and get the refund? how else? Not that I have any bottles and cans currently but I guess its nice to know in case you have tons of empty bottles at the end of a party ...
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Haha yes! A good way to motivate yourself to clean up after a night in. "At least I'm getting paid..."
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hhusted 2yrs+
@Uptowngirl: I have seen bottle machines in some stores. I saw a couple of people throw their bottles in the machine and get money from them. I don't know if these machines are in every store.
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Uraniumfish 2yrs+
If I had to have a damn receipt to return a bottle, I would never bother. But by being able to return bottles that are lying around, I', actually motivated to go out of my way to recycle. It's a great system. And by the way, it's been in place in Europe for years.
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DBlack 2yrs+
Recycling machines right in the stores would be a great idea but I haven't seen anything like that in Manhattan or Brooklyn.
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Of course it has @uraniumfish! I don't want to be one of those people who always whines about how "it's better than Europe" (although I can be sometimes), but definitely when it comes to Quality of Life issues and technology of that sort, Europe has us beat - faster internet, citybike systems, etc...
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Uraniumfish 2yrs+
@ajadeidealist I know, I feel like broken recorder when I'm always saying, Well, they do this so much better in Europe. It's amazing how some incredibly simple solutions for persistent quality of life problems just elude us Americans. What's wrong with us?
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BroadwayBK 2yrs+
Doesn't just about any country with some means have better internet than what we have available here? UGH.

And as for the bottle thing, I actually wouldn't mind taking my bottles back to the store, even for that little return. Are we just speculating that you have to have a receipt to return them? Because it seems like they should just take bottles that were sold anywhere. Isn't it sort of unethical otherwise?
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uptowngirl 2yrs+
@BroadwayBK the sign at the grocery store said that they were obliged to refund the deposit even without a receipt so I guess you can take a bunch of bottles and cans to any store not just the one where you made your purchase.
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BroadwayBK 2yrs+
@uptowngirl Sweet, I was figuring as much...seems sort of nonsensical for it to be otherwise.
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DBlack 2yrs+
I'm with you guys on the "they do this so much better in Europe"- thing. You know what else they do so much better in Europe? Public health insurance! Why don't we have this!
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hhusted 2yrs+
@Uraniumfish and @BroadwayBK: You just asked the million dollar question. Why is many things better in Europe than here. Could it be this country is more focused on getting rich instead of making quality products that when a product is made, it is inferior to what is made in other countries.

In reality, I always wondered why a country, that claims to be the richest and most powerful country in the world, has the poorest products compared to other countries.
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uptowngirl 2yrs+
Oh DBlack how we have bemoaned this fact in various forum posts. It's really sad that the world's richest nation cannot look after its own. Even worse is the fact that people seem hell bent on resisting the change that the President is trying to push through.
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Oren 2yrs+
I've always just recycled the bottles I used. Taking them down myself for a few cents didn't seem like a great use of my time. But like I said, I do support recycling and try to.
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BroadwayBK 2yrs+
Hmmmm...is there anything better over here as opposed to how it is in Europe? I could never find any Mountain Dew over there, but I'm guessing I'm the only one who cares.
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DBlack 2yrs+
@BroadwayBK A pair of Levis in Europe costs like 150 friggin' Euros.
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DBlack 2yrs+
@BroadwayBK Another thing I hate about Europeans is their seemingly inborn racism. Whatever else you have to say about American society, at least the presence of people from all over the world in most of the major cities means that people are used to dealing with one another, even if not liking one another. But I hate how the French police will pick up any dark skinned guy they feel like and keep him in jail for days at a time, for no reason. They're so blatant.
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I'm not sure that's true, @DBlack. There is racism in all countries - in France, there tends to be more racism against Arabs (esp. young, poor Arab men living in the banlieu - or outlying districts), but then again there is very little racism towards those of African descent, and the more "urban" areas are the most tolerant. Whereas the Tea Parties in the US also show a good deal of racism (towards everybody, really). So I guess the moral is that everybody's a little bit racist - sometimes.

Although I will say Italy, in particular, shocked me; I taught there for six weeks and the kids were the most racist little buggers I'd ever met!
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KinNYC 2yrs+
This is the most absurd conversation. I'm not going to comment on 90% of the nonsense you all have brought up for conversation, but will address the recycling/bottle deposit question. In New York, deposit is 5 cents. You pay that deposit each time you purchase a beer or soda in a bottle or can. You could take the perspective that you are simply getting your money back that you paid when purchasing the product. Returning them is easy, regardless of where you live. Either a store has a deposit machine or you simply bring them to the manager of the supermarket or distributor, count them and walk out with YOUR money. The intent is not to "get rich" but to do your part and live responsibly.

Also, you don't need a receipt, although many stores only refund bottle/can products they sell.
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JenMac 2yrs+
@kin: I think everyone here is doing their part and living "responsibly." No one on this post said that they didn't recycle. It was just a simple question in regards to the deposit refund being asked by someone whom is not American. There is no need nor invitation to be condescending. If you think the conversation is nonsense then don't participate in it.
Furthermore, here's a quick tip: if you absolutely feel the need to post with some sort of disparaging subtext, make sure you read the posts about which you commenting. There was nothing said about "getting rich" off of recycling refunds. The "get rich" post was in regards to the people running the country. And, correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure you will), but that statement isn't new or unfounded.
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uptowngirl 2yrs+
@JenMac Well said! Thanks
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Uraniumfish 2yrs+
Crimminy. Somebody's in a lousy mood. always helps to take it out on others, of course.
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@Kin - that's really unfair. Many of us have been regulars on the boards since January, and use the forum as a way to be social with each other as well as to discuss issues. I see that you are new to the board - we do occasionally let our conversations go on tangents for interesting discussion, but I like to think this reflects the variety of New Yorkers and their interests
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tpatt 2yrs+
Hey guys...i heard a major cable network is doing a documentary on this very subject. If you know anyone who has a unique story/personality and collects bottles/cans for deposit return PLEASE CONTACT [email protected]
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JoannB Aug 17, 2016
Here's the problem. For those of us who wish to recycle our cans and bottles it helps to keep our areas free of these items and in the process return our 5 or 10 cent deposit. The problem comes down to quite a few businesses who don't care if their machines are properly maintained so that you are able to return the cans/bottles. Plus the fact that people who pick up bottles/cans from anywhere and return them to receive the deposit refund which they did not pay for to these business's which have these machines that are always being full. So when you as a respectful citizen, go to return your properly purchased bottles/cans have to constantly ask customer service of these businesses to get some associate who works for them to unload the machines. Then 90% of the time you can wait 15 to 25 minutes before someone with the knowledge of knowing how to properly clean or fix these machines, let alone empty out their fullness --- you wind up going up to customer service and ask them to take the bottles and they refuse. These businesses have sloths working for them who feel it is beneath them to do so. Is there a solution to tell the truth I have no idea. Another thing is I truly would "love" to know where all the 5 and 10 cent deposits of these cans/bottles go. Who has been getting all this money? It must be in the millions of $$'s. Well maybe some bodies pocket is being lined. From now on my cans/bottles will go in the recycling can. I was, my family were just trying to help out this tiny little blue planet from getting absorbed in tin and plastic.
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