BOSTON (CBS) — If you’ve been collecting bottle and cans during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s good news. Redemption centers in Massachusetts will reopen in phases starting June 5.

Reverse vending machines (RVMs) will open on June 5 and over-the-counter returns will resume on June 19. Both will open with restrictions.

Customers must wear masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and are limited to 120 returns at a time. Bottles and cans must be empty and rinsed out.

Employees must also wear masks. There should be signs reminding customers to socially distance, six-foot spacing must be marked on floors and the bottle room occupancy should be limited. If necessary, every other machine should be blocked off.

Centers should create a specific time available to only seniors and high-risk citizens.

To find a redemption center, visit

For other questions, call the MassDEP’s Bottle Bill Hotline is 617-556-1054.

Comments (5)
  1. DAVID says:

    Another well thought out idea by the State of Mass. the state is basically discriminating people against people that drink certain items. In Worcester County all Budweiser drinkers and all the other products that they sell will now have to wait until June 19th. They do not go thru machines they are all over the counter!!! How is the public to know what can or cannot go thru a machine?

    Now its up to store employees to police every individual who comes in and inspect their bag to see if there product will go through a machine or not.

    Then tell them that they can’t come in today, in front of other people who have passed the test.

    People are going to get hurt and harassed, just like that poor girl at the ice cream stand on the Cape.
    Why is it you can not bring a re-usable tote from home into a store, yet you can bring all your dirty cans and bottles.

    1. rj dub says:

      Worcester County HAS “reverse vending machines”. I know because I work for one of the companies. The bottle bill states that stores MUST take back what they sell. The DON’T have to take back ALL redeemables. BTW….it’s ABOUT TIME stores were required to “police” the returns. Massachusetts LAW says that the bottles are to be RINSED CLEAN before redemption. No it is NOT “time to end the bottle bill”….HOWEVER, it IS time to ENFORCE IT!!!!

  2. Rupjmaize Kubo says:

    MA should have suspended the $0.05 deposit on cans and bottles during the pandemic. Or better yet just end it altogether. I’ve lived in a state where I own the aluminum that I purchase, crush it under foot, sell it back to recyclers at $0.24 a lb. Reduce storage size to 1/6th – no more storing full cans in bags and boxes.

  3. BostonHolly says:

    Yeah, good luck with this. If one consumes anything but ultra commercial brands , you’re out of luck in Brighton. Actually, if you live in a condo in Brighton, you are really out of luck because we have been ignored-worse, eliminated from crucial city services- by this Mayor who raises our property taxes but leaves Brighton on a limb of obscurity after collecting. Seniors are left for dead, disabled seniors must have been considered dead already , we are so ompletely off of the City’s radar, living alone in neglected condo developments. So, the bottle can redemption issue is just one more slap in the face to a senior not getting by on <$20K annually from Soc.Sec. before Health Insurace, Medicare, Taxes, CondoFees(10% annual increases w/no common area Mntc. and the little there is, The Board refuses service to this owner for exterior repairs causing severe interior damage bc they want me to move). I have nowowhere to put household trash as DAP, the HOA removed my access to trash & moved Recycle bin, and 3 months still stuck with cans insidemy home. Still cant get wipes or sprays but we're told to keep our homes SANITIZED? HOW ? When DISABLED SENIORS IIN CONDOS ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY HOA's, THE CITY AND THE STATE, how do we even stay alive? No one gives a flying fk.

    1. Roger says:

      You obviously have NO idea how the redemption bill works. FIRST, deposits are only charged on carbonated beverages. SECOND, when it comes to the RVM’s in stores, they are ONLY required to take back what they sell. Bottle Rooms are NOT redemption centers. They are there for the convenience of the store CUSTOMER!!

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