Bottle Bill Resource Guide

The collection and recycling of beer and soda containers in bottle bill states has created tens of thousands of new jobs in retail, distribution and recycling. In states that have a handling fee, a redemption industry has evolved to redeem empty containers. Often these redemption centers expand into small retail operations. In the bottling market, the shift from glass to polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic bottles was not unique to deposit law states, but occurred throughout the entire U.S. soft drink market.


Oregon [1]




Numbers from a report made for the Oregon State Legislative Fiscal Office (did not include increases in retail employment).

Maine [2]




Net job gains estimated by CALPIRG; includes new jobs in recycling.

Michigan [3]




JOB GAINS: Employment increased primarily where bottlers used the refillable bottle process (production line workers, sorters, and bottle wash­ers); Employment gains for brewers and MI Liquor Control Commission data produces an estimate of 68 new hires; Beer distribu­tors' employment gains were due in part to in­creased frequency of delivering to retailers and picking up empty containers. JOB LOSSES: 73 jobs were lost when the National Can Co. closed its plant in Livonia, MI and 167 jobs were lost when employment was reduced at the Owens-Illinois glass plant in Charlotte.

New York [4]




Container manufacturers reported the loss of 135 jobs with the decline for metal cans in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government report.

Iowa [5]




DNR reported that 1,200 jobs, w/ annual income of $17,000 to $21,000 attributed to the bottle bill. 

British Columbia [6] N/A N/A 745

Total employment generated by recycling beverage containers (excluding employment in recycling operations, which is reported separately) is estimated at almost 745 Full-time equivalents (FTE's). This number is divided into 680 FTE's in collection depots, 26 FTE's in administration, 19 FTE's in transportation, and 20 FTE's in processing.



[1] U.S. G.A.O. Report to the Congress by the Comptroller General of the United States, Potential Effects of a National Mandatory Deposit on Beverage Containers , December 7, 1977.

[2] U.S. G.A.O. Report by the Comptroller General of the United States, States' Experience With Beverage Container Deposit Laws Shows Positive Benefits , December 11, 1980.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Final Report of the Temporary State Commission on Returnable Beverage Containers , New York, March 27, 1985.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Gardner Pinfold Consulting. Economic Impacts of the B.C. Recycling Regulation. August 31, 2008


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