DEEP to Address Return of Limited Bottle Redemption at Stores

Bloomfield redemption center
NBC Connecticut

Retailers will be able to restart limited bottle redemption activities on May 20, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Wednesday, and there will be a news conference this afternoon.

Retailers were allowed to temporarily suspend redemption activities in March so they could focus on safety measures in other parts of the stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Come May 20, redemption can resume with certain restrictions in place, including things like daily limits on the number of containers, limited hours, and social distancing requirements.

At 2 p.m., DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes and Sen. Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), will be speaking at the West Haven redemption center to highlight the importance of recycling, the efforts of redemption centers to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and DEEP’s recent announcement that retailers will start resuming bottle redemption activities on a limited basis.

The state is eyeing a full resumption of bottle redemption by June 3.

Some NBC Connecticut viewers expressed concerns that they were being charged bottle deposits but could not redeem them at stores. DEEP said some independent bottle redemption centers continued to redeem containers. A full list of redemption centers is available here.

Customers are reminded to check location hours before heading in, and to rinse containers thoroughly before redemption. Service providers may reject contaminated containers.

Stores that do not begin accepting redemptions under the "bottle bill" law on the May 20 date may be subject to enforcement by DEEP, officials said.

DEEP recommends workers wear nitrile gloves when handling redeemed containers to protect against things like norovirus and other viruses and bacteria. DEEP said this is equally protective against the coronavirus. If an employer cannot provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), they should cease operations until they can get it. More details are available on the OSHA website.

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