Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  New York State Returnable Container Act
Purpose Reduce litter, ease burden on solid waste facilities and encourage recycling activity
Enacted 6/15/1982
Date Implemented 7/1/1983
Regulations New York State Environmental Conservation Law, Article 27, Title 10
Beverages Covered Carbonated soft drinks, soda water, beer and other malt beverages, wine products and water which does not contain sugar (this excludes flavored or nutritionally enhanced water from the program)
Containers Covered An individual, separate, sealed glass, metal, aluminum, steel or plastic bottle, can or jar less than 1 gallon or 3.78 liters.
Amount of Deposit
Reclamation System Retail stores and redemption centers
Handling Fee 3.5¢
Unredeemed Deposits 80% retained by the State: $23 million goes to the state Environmental Protection Fund (and any escheats in excess of $122.2 million); remainder goes to the state's General Fund. 20% retained by deposit initiators (beverage distributors).
Redemption Rate

2021 - 70.4%
2020 - 64%
2019 - 64%
2018 - 64% 
2017 - 65% [1]
2016 - 66%
2015 - 65%
2014 - 64%
2013 - 62%

% of All Beverages Sold That Are Covered By Deposit 78% [2]



No one shall sell or offer for sale a beverage container in New York unless a deposit has been collected by a deposit initiator that is registered with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. A deposit initiator must also make arrangements for the pick-up and processing of empty containers and pay dealers and redemption centers for the deposits and a 3.5 cent handling fee on each empty beverage container. Also requires deposit initiators to report quarterly on deposit collected and redeemed and to remit 80% of the unredeemed deposits to Taxation and Finance.


[1] Source: New York Department of Environmental Conservation, E-mail Communication with Jennifer Kruman. (8/9/18)

[2] "2019 Beverage Market Data Analysis." Container Recycling Institute. 2022.


Last Updated on August 5 2022.

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Contact - New York


Jennifer Kruman
Environmental Program Specialist 2
Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
Division of Materials Management
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7253
Phone (518) 402-8706
Fax (518) 402-9024
[email protected]