Hawaii

Name Solid Waste Management; Deposit Beverage Container Law (Act 176)
Enacted 6/25/2002
Implemented 1/1/2005
Beverages Covered all nonalcoholic drinks, except for milk or dairy products, and limited alcoholic drinks (beer, malt beverages, mixed spirits, mixed wine).
Containers Covered Aluminum, bi-metal, glass, plastic (PET and HDPE only) up to 68 oz.
Amount of Deposit
Reclamation System Certified Redemption Centers (CRCs) operated by privately-owned, State-permitted solid waste facilities (a)
Handling Fee Variable fee of 2–4¢ paid to redemption centers from the Deposit Beverage Container Fund. [b]
Other Fees 1¢ non-refundable "container fee" (added to price of beverage) paid to Deposit Beverage Container fund to help pay redemption centers handling fees. [c]
Unredeemed Deposits Property of state: used for program administration

Program Success
(Redemption Rate)

FY 2015 - 68%
FY 2014 - 72.6%
FY 2013 - 75.0%
FY 2012 - 76.6%
FY 2011 - 75.7%
FY 2010 - 76.1%
FY 2009 - 78.7%
FY 2008 - 72.0%
FY 2007 - 67.6%
FY 2006 - 67.6%

FY 2006-2015 - 73% 
[d]
Redemption rate by container type

FY 2015 -
Aluminum - 76%
Glass - 65.4%
Plastic - 60.8%

Details

In addition to the 5¢ deposit fee that is refunded to consumers, Hawaii charges a nonrefundable "container fee" which helps to cover the operational costs of the program. The law specifies that the container fee be reviewed annually, and is set at 1¢ per container when the annual redemption rate is below 70%, and 1.5¢ per container when the redemption rate exceeds 70%. The Director of the program is authorized to suspend any increase in this fee if the size of the deposit beverage container fund is sufficient to maintain operations.

Container Fee Year(s)
2008-2011, 2015[e]
1.5¢ 2012-2014

Because the law only requires beverage distributors pay the container fee to DOH, there is no specific guidance on how retailers decide to pass on the fee to their customers.

The program pays certified redemption centers a “handling fee” for each container that is verified as being recycled - this includes deposit beverage containers that are either:

1.    Transported out-of-state,
2.    Transported to a department permitted recycling facility.

In September 2008, the Department of Health changed the handling fee that is paid out to redemption centers for glass containers, which established the current handling fee, which ranges from 2¢ - 4¢ per container that is recycled. Glass containers that are destined for remanufacturing applications receive a 4¢ fee, and glass containers destined for industrial or agricultural applications receive a 2¢ fee.
 
The program requires redemption centers to submit regular reports (minimally, requests for payment must be received twice per month) and consumer refunds may be calculated by weight according to the segregated rates determined by the department for each material type (aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal).

Footnotes

[a] Retailer exemptions vary depending on local population density, proximity to a redemption center, and store size.

[b] 4¢ for glass to be used in remanufacturing applications, 2¢ for glass to be used in construction & agriculture applications. Source: Hawaii Department of Health. "Handling Fee Adjustment For Glass Deposit Containers." September 9, 2008
Handling fees for aluminum, bi-metal, and plastic are 2¢ for Oahu and 3¢ for neighbor islands. Source: email communication with Jennifer Tosaki. July 6, 2010

[c] BEVERAGE CONTAINER FEE TO DECREASE BY HALF CENT - Lower annual redemption rate triggers a decrease of container fee. July 27th 2015.

[d] Source: Hawaii Department of Health - Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container Statistics

[e] Source: Hawaii Department of Health. "Beverage container fee increases by half cent to continue successful recycling program." July 18, 2012

Updated February 18, 2016

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