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Solid Waste Management

Vermont’s Beverage Container and Redemption Law

Why does Vermont have a beverage container law?

Vermont’s Beverage Container Law ("bottle bill") started out as a litter law as a way to clean up Vermont’s roadsides.  Over the years, the Bottle Bill has evolved into a successful recycling program.

What beverages ARE covered under the Bottle Bill Law?

  • Liquor and spirits
  • Beer, wine coolers, and other malt beverages
  • Soft drinks and other carbonated beverages

What beverages ARE NOT covered under the Bottle Bill Law?

  • Wine and hard cider
  • Water, milk, juice, sports drinks, and other non-carbonated beverages



Where can I bring my empty containers for redemption?

Consumers may bring any empty container that carries the Vermont refund message and is sold in Vermont to a Certified Redemption Center.  See Vermont’s List of Certified Redemption Centers (25KB PDF).  All other retailers and redemption centers not listed on this list are only required to take back empties for the products they sell.

How does the system work when I return a container to a retailer or redemption center?

The retailers and redemption centers play a key role in making the system work by receiving, refunding, and handling the empty containers for the consumers.  See “How the Money Flows: What Happens to a 5 Cent Bottle Deposit” (11KB PDF). The distributors or a third-party agent acting on behalf of the distributors then picks up the empty containers from the retailers and redemption centers and recycles the collected glass, aluminum, and plastic materials.



Public Notices
Bottle Bill Rules (26KB PDF) - effective Sept. 14, 2010
Get the Facts: Bottle Bill Law (27KB PDF)
How the Money Flows: What Happens to a 5 Cent Bottle Deposit? (11KB PDF)

DSM Report: Systems Analysis of Solid Waste in Vermont, including Bottle Bill (2013) (link)
DSM Report: The Cost of Beverage Container Redemption in Vermont (June 2007)(446KB PDF)
Manufacturer Beverage Registration
Vermont's List of Certified Redemptions Centers (25KB PDF)
Redemption Center Certification Application (76KB PDF)
10 V.S.A. Chapter 53 - Beverage Container Law Exiting DEC web site


Learn more about Vermont's Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility programs


Bryn Oakleaf
Vermont Bottle Bill Administrator

Waste Management &  Prevention Division, Solid Waste Program

Department of Environmental Conservation

1 National Life Drive, Davis 1, Montpelier, VT 05620-3704




Last updated:
VT DEC Waste Management & Prevention Division 1 National Life Drive - Davis 1  Montpelier, VT  05620-3704  Tele: 802-828-1138  Fax: 802-828-1011

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