Automated machines must be operating by June 5; over-the-counter collection starts June 19.
By Andy Rosen Globe Staff,Updated May 29, 2020
Massachusetts will begin requiring retailers to redeem customers’ 5 cent bottle and can deposits starting June 5, after two months of relaxed enforcement that allowed stores to stop handling empties during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said reverse vending machines that accept redeemable containers at stores will have to be in operation June 5, while over-the-counter redemption must resume by June 19.
The state had permitted stores and redemption centers to continue accepting empties if they wanted to, but it had not required stores that sell redeemable bottles to accept returns — as it normally does — since late March. The measure was put in place to manage the threat of the coronavirus, and also to free up employees to focus on tasks such as keeping food and other essential items in stock. More