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 and soda water
  • Beer and other malt beverages
  • Wine coolers
  • Carbonated and non-carbonated water that does not contain sugar 
Beverages Not Covered
  • Milk products
  • Wine and Liquor
  • Hard ciders
  • Non-carbonated tea, sports drinks, juice, and energy drinks
  • Drink boxes or pouches
  • Water containing sugar
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); the remainder goes to the state's General Fund.
  • 20% is retained by deposit initiators (beverage distributors).
Redemption Rates


 Year  Redemption Rate [1]
2022 69.9%
 2021 70.4%
2020 64%
2019 64%
2018 64%
2017 65% [2]
2016 66%
2015 65%
2014 64%
2013 62%


% of All Beverages Sold That Are Covered By Deposit 78% [3]



In New York, sold beverage containers included in the deposit program must have a deposit of 5¢. Retailers are responsible for arranging the collection and processing of empty containers, and they must pay dealers and redemption centers for the deposits, as well as 3.5¢ handling fee for each empty beverage container. Consumers may receive a refund when they redeem their containers at retailers that sell beverages for off-premise consumption. Food or beverage establishments must accept all returned containers, but are not required to provide refunds. 

Additionally, deposit initiators must report quarterly on deposits collected and redeemed and remit 80% of the unredeemed deposits to the Department of Taxation and Finance. The remaining 20% of the unredeemed deposits is retained by the beverage distributors.


[1] "New York State Returnable Beverage Container Act Deposit and Redemption Statistics." New York Department of Environmental Conservation, E-mail Communication with Jennifer Kruman, Environmental Program Specialist. June 15, 2023.

[2] New York Department of Environmental Conservation, E-mail Communication with Jennifer Kruman. August 9, 2018.

[3] "2019 Beverage Market Data Analysis." Container Recycling Institute. 2022.


Last Updated on August 1, 2023.

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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
P: (518) 402-8706
Fax: (518) 402-9024
E: [email protected]