Bottle Bill Resource Guide

The 2011 Campaign

Colorado's bill for a new 5¢ deposit system was killed in committee in late February.

Bill Number and Name House Bill 11-1247 Bill text
Sponsors Pabon, Court, Duran, Gardner D., Vigil
Beverages Covered Malt, mixed spirits, mixed wine, all nonalcoholic beverages. Excludes dairy.
Containers Covered PET, HDPE, Glass, up to 64 oz.
Handling Fees Variable, not less than the Deposit Beverage Container Fee, paid by the Department of Revenue to a redemption center
Other Fees / Taxes "DEPOSIT BEVERAGE CONTAINER FEE," paid by distributors to the Department of Revenue. Starts at ½ cent, changes to a variable rate from ½ cent to 1½ cents
Reclamation System Return to dealer or certified redemption center
Unredeemed Deposits Property of the state Beverage Container Deposit Fund



The following summary comes from the Colorado Association for Recycling:

The bill creates a deposit beverage container program (program), which will be fully implemented by January 1, 2013.  A “deposit beverage container” is an individual, separate, polythylene terephthalte or high-density polyethylene or glass container with a total capacity less than or equal to 64 fluid ounces that contains beer, ale, or other drinks produced by fermenting malt; mixed spirits; mixed wine; tea and coffee drinks; soda; noncarbonated water; and all nonalcoholic drinks in liquid form and intended for internal human consumption.

Deposit beverage distributors.  A “deposit beverage distributor” (distributor) is a person who manufactures beverages put into deposit beverage containers or who imports and engages in the sale of filled deposit beverage containers to a dealer or consumer.

Beginning September 1, 2011, distributors must register with the department of revenue (department), maintain records regarding the manufacture, importation, and exportation of beverage and deposit beverage containers (containers), and make such records available to the department.

Beginning October 1, 2011, distributors will be required to pay to the department a beverage container fee for each deposit beverage container that the distributor manufactures in, or imports into, the state.

Consumers.  By January 1, 2013, the bill requires consumers to pay to the dealer (a person who engages in the sale of beverages in deposit beverage containers to a consumer for off-premises consumption) from whom the consumer purchases a deposit beverage a deposit on each deposit beverage container.  Consumers will be able to recover the amount of such deposits by turning in containers to redemption centers.

Dealers.  The bill requires a dealer to redeem deposits unless the dealer, among other things:

  • Is located within 2 miles of a redemption center in a highly populated area;
  • Sells refundable containers through vending machines only; or
  • Has less than 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Redemption centers.  With regard to a “redemption center”, which is defined as a person or facility that accepts from consumers, in exchange for the refund value, empty deposit beverage containers intended for recycling, the bill:

  • Requires redemption centers to apply for certification by the department prior to operation and to ensure that each collected container is recycled;
  • Allows redemption centers to use reverse vending machines for the purpose of redeeming deposits; and
  • Directs the department to pay each redemption center a handling fee of not less than the prevailing container fee in addition to the refund value of each redeemed container.

Program administration.  In order to implement, administer, and oversee the program, the bill:

  • Requires the department to adopt rules to implement the program;
  • Allows the department to contract the services of a third party in order to administer the program;
  • Requires the department to convene an advisory committee to aid in the implementation of the program;
  • Authorizes the department and the state auditor to inspect the records of distributors, dealers, redemption centers, and recycling facilities; and
  • Directs the state auditor to conduct an audit of the program on or before July 1, 2014.

Deposit beverage container fund.  The bill creates the deposit beverage container fund (fund), which fund will be used to finance the program and will consist of container fees, deposits, and interest earned. The bill requires that a portion of the moneys in the fund resulting from any unredeemed deposit refund values be transferred as follows:

  • 10% to the recycling resources economic opportunity fund;
  • 40% to the state education fund to defray the costs of K-12 education; and
  • The remaining 50% for administrative costs, including recycling education.


February 7, 2011: Introduced and referred to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs

February 23, 2011: Committee voted to postpone indefinitely; effectively dead.

Track this bill


The 2004 Colorado Campaign

Bill Number and Name HB1275 Bill text
Primary Sponsor Rep. Angela V. Paccione (D)
Containers Covered Plastic Only (PET or HDPE), up to 64 oz.
Beverages Covered All nonalcoholic drinks, plus malt beverages, mixed spirits, and mixed wine
Deposits 10¢
Handling Fees 1/2¢ at start, raised to 1 1/2 ¢ if reach 70% recycled
Reclamation System Return to retail or certified redemption center


01/29/04 - Introduced to House

02/16/04 - Postponed indefinitely by House Committee on Information & Technology after hearing.


Rep Angela V. Paccione
Room 271
200 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

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