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Bottle deposits for beers not distro'ed to your state but says your state on the bottle?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cosmicevan, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Champion (930) New York Dec 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    A while back I used to save my empties and then bring in a BUNCH of them in one shot for refund and put it towards a beer purchase, but then it came to light that a bottle saying "NY" as a state for the refund didn't mean that I could actually get money back. At first, it wasn't a big deal as I and the bottle guy would sift through all the stuff that was non-NY and I'd toss them in the dumpster...then a local bottle shop told me I couldn't do that and needed to take the bottles home so since then I've just put all bottles into the recycle bin.

    Question - do you bring back your trade (and non-locally distributed) bottles to your beer store? Do you get the refund for it? I could care less about the nickel, but never understood why I get so many bottles that have NY listed as a state for refund only to be turned down when I tried to get the refund. after being turned away twice, I'm done trying, but if a bottle says "NY" shouldn't it be accepted in NY?
  2. sm0key

    sm0key Savant (325) Michigan Apr 24, 2009

    same deal in Michigan. In fact, I've had bottles turned down that were bought in Indiana, but ARE distributed in MI. bar code may be different?

    btw, it's $.10 a can in MI. maybe you can find a mail truck to bring your empties here for the big score???
  3. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    I have never had an issue returning non-distro beers to recycling centers in SoCal.
  4. superspak

    superspak Poobah (1,285) Michigan May 5, 2010 Beer Trader

    I bring all of my bottles into my local beer store every Friday and they reimburse me for all of them. Almost all the beers I buy or get shipped to me from the west coast will have the MI 10c annotation on the label; regardless if MI even gets the distribution.
  5. Pretty sure that if the bottle has NY on it indicating a $.05 deposit then the return facility needs to accept that bottle. Are you saying that the person accepting your bottle returns somehow knows the beer wasn't distributed on NY even though it has the NY deposit on the label?

    Here is how it works in the Rochester area, if you take your bottles to a Wegmans some locations have a person at the counter that simply counts them, shovels them into a garbage can, and gives you your receipt. Some wegmans have machines now. The machines accept maybe 60% of the bottles you try to stuff in it, regardless of whether you bought it at that very wegmans location or got it in a trade. The person at the counter method has a 100% acceptance rate, again regardless of whether you bought it locally or got the bottle in a trade.
  6. mikecharley

    mikecharley Advocate (555) Pennsylvania Nov 6, 2008 Beer Trader

    You should do the math and see if it is economically viable to drive to Michigan with the bottles you purchased in NY, and get the higher deposit back. I've my doubts though
    weatherdog likes this.
  7. OP... I have run into this problem many times here in Mass and I personally AM concerned about the nickel. Not that I desperately need the extra 15 cents I lose each time on semi obscure 750ml bottles when I return my empties, but the principle still pisses me off. The ''MA 5 cent'' annotation is on the bottle/can, I surely payed the 5 cent deposit on each and every bottle/can purchased, yet when I go for the refund I sometimes get "we don't accept those". It almost seems as if some places only accept brands distributed to their particular store. If the marking is on the can or bottle...they should be giving the refund regardless of what store or state the bottle was purchased in. Hence why they don't have individual store markings on the bottle or can to indicate what store will later accept your return. I also think its safe to say that we can all point the finger at George W or Obama Sin Laden because all of our lost nickels could very well be funding the NWO for all we know!
  8. dmeadows

    dmeadows Savant (320) New York Aug 6, 2002

    My store accepts any bottles that say "NY." I always give them advanced noticed so that they have a second pair of underwear on hand.
    franklinn and Jimmyp7010 like this.
  9. HopsHopenstein

    HopsHopenstein Savant (440) Connecticut Sep 4, 2011 Beer Trader

    Lots of CT stores only will except bottles n cans from breweries they sell. So I can bring back bourbon county to a store that sells goose island stuff even if they dont sell bourbon county. But they wont take say a gandhi bot can if they dont sell NEBCO even though its CT distributed. Sometimes I get away with extras outside my distro, but thats only if I take my bottles and cans to a store that doesnt check the bottles themselves. Which doesnt happen very often.
    Zaphog likes this.
  10. Zaphog

    Zaphog Poobah (1,230) Michigan Sep 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    Stores are only supposed to accept empties of brands that they actually sell.
  11. I think breweries list the deposit amounts for every state on the label (or impressed on the top of the can) that has a deposit law, even if that beer is not distributed in every one of those states. (You never know when they might start sending their beers to that state.)

    Retailers have different methods of accounting for the cash refund, and electronic bottle/can return machines can be programmed to read the bar code and match it to a product that is sold in that store, and reject it if it isn't. I don't think the deposit laws require a retailer to accept a bottle for a product that they don't carry.

    Manual accounting is going to be found in small stores that can't afford the big automated machines, and the people in those stores can't take the time to validate every bottle/can. So many bottles get accepted and the retailer gets stuck for the nickle/dime if it was not a valid product in that state or store.
  12. bierenutz

    bierenutz Savant (355) Michigan Jan 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Well that's mighty nice of that store, but it's still illegal here in Michigan both for you and the store owner. Our bottle (container) law makes it illegal to return bottles for deposit refunds where the deposit, if any, was not paid here otherwise this is deemed a "non-returnable" bottle. In fact, the stores here don't even have to take any "returnable" bottle that they don't sell.

    The law specifically says:

    (1) A person shall not return or attempt to return to a dealer for a refund 1 or more of the following:
    (a) A beverage container that the person knows or should know was not purchased in this state as a filled returnable container.
    (b) A beverage container that the person knows or should know did not have a deposit paid for it at the time of purchase.

    The actual fines/penalties do not kick in though unless the return is in excess of 25 bottles, but don't think that by returning 24 that it's okay by this law. But hell, what do I know?
    beerFool28607 likes this.
  13. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (460) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006 Verified

    That's exactly it. A store will not (generally) accept bottles / brands they don't sell, especially with the automated machines most of them have in the frst place. Many places I go have a hard enough time keeping the machines programmed to accept bottles they do sell, much less anything else out there.
    An independent bottle return facility (if there are any of those anymore) should accept anything returnable.
    Then there are bottles that the machines never read anyways, like Stone - I hate trying to return those, the machines never take them. however, any shop worth talking about will still accept them, you just have to go inside and talk to someone at the register.
    CORKSCREWFISH likes this.
  14. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Advocate (525) Massachusetts Nov 27, 2009 Beer Trader

    "If the marking is on the can or bottle...they should be giving the refund regardless of what store or state the bottle was purchased in." This doesn't make very good business sense. These are retail stores with a return area, not dedicated redemption centers. If they give the refund on bottles not purchased in the store, they could potentially lose money. Not accepting brands sold exclusively by competitors is common practice among retail stores for numerous reasons as well. Also, it's technically illegal to return bottles that were purchased out of state, and you could face a fine for knowingly doing so. There are signs dictating this in most return areas. Finally, just because a bottle has the "MA 5 cent" marking on it, doesn't mean it is distributed and sold in MA. Yuengling has the "MA 5 cent" mark, and that is not distributed here (though I hear it makes it to military bases).
  15. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Advocate (525) Massachusetts Nov 27, 2009 Beer Trader

    "like Stone - I hate trying to return those, the machines never take them." Barcode scanners have a hell of a time reading the silkscreen printed barcodes on the Stone bottles.
  16. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,400) Washington Sep 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    I wish Washington had a deposit law. Too many empty beer containers out in the woods. Sadly, even craft beer. We go out shooting and there are just as many craft "targets" as BMC.
  17. All of my local stores have a spot near the back door to drop them and you tell the cashier how many you brought back. Never had anyone look through them. For five cents per bottle, it is neither worth the effort of the store nor the poor customer service to scrutinize/audit returns.
  18. I just take the barrels down to the recycling place and they dump mine into theirs, weigh it, and give me my money. As long as its all glass they dont care where the bottles originated from.
  19. powpig2002

    powpig2002 Savant (400) Florida Jan 26, 2012

    ok krammer
  20. andylipp

    andylipp Savant (495) Massachusetts Dec 8, 2006 Verified

    This exactly. Stores that give you balls about it are telling you in a not-so-subtle way that they do NOT want to deal with more returnables than they absolutely have to.

    Here in MA, I take mine to a "Redemption Center" rather than to a retailer. This type of business is looking not at labels but at total weight of the bottles/cans. I'm sure that the occasional non-Mass bottle I bring in there is simply mixed in with a few thousand others. No harm, no foul.

    Now if you're talking about deliberately scamming the return place with mega amounts of containers for which no deposit was ever paid anywhere, well that's another story...
    RyanLigeia likes this.
  21. Never had a problem at a beer distributor with NY .05 bottles. Most machines won't except something from other states tho.
  22. It looks like it depends on which state you are in on how easy/hard it is to return for deposits. In California we take our returnables to a redemption center and the ones I use just weigh what you have.

    Back around 1980 Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve was really popular. I had a friend who spent the summer in Oregon and he had everyone who drank Henries give him the bottles. He would take up close to a pick-up bed full of bottles each summer:D
  23. DesMoinesMike

    DesMoinesMike Advocate (510) Iowa Mar 23, 2008 Beer Trader

    I take mine to a few Hy-Vee's in DMS, and it depends on who's checking; some kid of the old bat who hates everybody whether they are accepted. When I returned a non-beverage item to a different Hy-Vee, the price was different, and the person gave me grief about them loosing $ over a purchase from another store. I kind of understand their point of not wanting their profits decreased by items purchased at a different location, but at what point do you actually make a big deal over a few nickles?
  24. dunix

    dunix Advocate (505) Vermont Jan 26, 2011 Verified

    I've never had a problem redeeming bottles here in Vermont. I take bottles that don't have VT refund on them and even delabeled bottles.
  25. PA doesn't have any bottle deposits refund so I am forced to throw everything away and ruin the environment.

    Ow since this is beer advocate and not bottle advocate I must say Elysian "the greater pumpkin" is amazing
    HeyJim likes this.
  26. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Verified

    You are supposed to bring them back?

    In MA we have redemption centers that take any bottle. From anywhere. The pace I take them has a drop off where the money goes to the local food pantry and homeless kitchen. That is what I do. I keep about a hundred crown flappers on hand. No uniformity between states, that is for sure.
  27. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    stayclean likes this.
  28. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Savant (375) California Sep 5, 2012 Beer Trader

    You can return empties to the store for credit?!? I did not know this! I thought you had to take em to a recycling center... i have enough empties to supply my drinkin' for a month!
  29. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Thank god TX doesn't do bottle deposits... I couldn't deal with this crap.

    I remember in MA that Shaw's had machines for cans where you simply shoved the thing into a can-shaped hole and it added $0.05 to a receipt that you could bring up with your purchases. I always take all my grandma's cans/bottles to deposit when I'm up there.

    I would seriously go ape shit if I paid $0.30 a six-pack and no one would take the bottles back.
  30. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Verified

    Holy crap...that was supposed to say crown cap bottles....sorry about that.