Bottle Bill Resource Guide

The 2011 Campaign

Bill Number and Name House Bill 51 
Sponsors Sheila Jones and E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd
Beverages Covered carbonated soft drinks, water, beer, other malt beverages, and wine
Containers Covered glass, metal, aluminum, steel, or plastic bottles, cans, or jars under 1 gallon
Handling Fees 3.5¢, paid by distributor or manufacturer to dealer or redemption center
Other Fees / Taxes None
Reclamation System Return to retail or redemption centers
Unredeemed Deposits 80% paid to state, 20% remains property of the distributor/manufacturer



A unique feature of this bill is the requirement of a Georgia-specific bar code for all containers covered by the system.

This bill gives a lot of attention to the duties of retailers regarding container redemption. It specifies that retail chains 10 or more stores are required to install a certain number of reverse vending machines (ranging from 3 to 8) at each location over 40,000 square feet.

Signage which retailers are required to post informing customers of their rights is also specifically laid out.

Dealers under 10,000 square feet, served by a nearby redemption center, are permitted to limit daily redemptions to 72 containers per customer, except during a 2-hour period when the per-customer limit is increased to 240 containers.

The responsibilities of beverage distributors are also clearly defined. In addition to being required to collect empty containers from dealers and redemption centers, they are also required to provide containers or bags for the collection and return of the deposit beverage containers. Distributors and manufacturers are required to maintain separate accounts for the deposits they receive and the refunds they pay. On a quarterly basis, the account holder is required to pay 80% of the funds remaining in the account to the Department of Revenue, but may keep the remaining 20%.

As is common among bottle deposit laws, the bill also prohibits the sale of containers held together by plastic materials which are not biodegradable or photodegradable.

The bill also defines financial penalties for violations of the law.


January 19, 2011: Filed in the House

January 24, 2011: First reading

January 25, 2011: Second reading

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