New York

Name New York State Returnable Container Law
Purpose Reduce litter, ease burden on solid waste facilities and encourage recycling activity
Enacted 6/15/1982
Implemented 7/1/1983
Beverages Covered Carbonated Soft Drinks, Soda Water, Beer and Other Malt Beverages, Wine Products and Water which does not contain sugar (including flavored or nutritionally enhanced water)
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
Unredeemed Deposits 80% to the State; dedicates $15 million to the state Environmental Protection Fund with the remaining unredeemed going to the state General Fund. 20% retained by deposit initiator (distributor)
Handling Fee 3.5¢
Redemption Rate

2017 Overall: 65% I
2016 Overall: 66%
2015 Overall: 65%
2014 Overall: 64%
2013 Overall: 62%


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.


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

Updated August 19, 2018