Vermont's "Bottle Bill"

Why does Vermont have a beverage container law?

Vermont’s Beverage Container and Redemption Law ("the Bottle Bill") began as a litter law intended to clean up Vermont’s roadsides.  Over the years, the Bottle Bill evolved into a successful recycling program. Under the law, anyone can return a covered bottle or can to a retailer or redemption center to redeem the deposit (5-15 cents)

Where can I redeem my empty containers?

Retailers: Retailers are required to take back empties for beverage brands that they sell (regardless of whether the container was purchased at that location), as long as they were purchased in Vermont and are clean and unbroken. Retailers may apply for an exemption to this requirement if there is an alternate redemption location available.

Certified Redemption Centers: Consumers may bring any empty containers that were purchased in Vermont and carry the Vermont redemption message to a Certified Redemption Center. Find one near you: List of Certified Redemption Centers in Vermont or Map of Certified Redemption Centers in Vermont. Certified Redemption Centers must accept all covered beverage containers that are clean and unbroken.

What beverages ARE covered under the Bottle Bill Law?

When purchased in Vermont:

  • 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
  • Beverages purchased out of state

What happens when I return a container to a retailer or redemption center?

Retailers and redemption centers collect empty containers from the public and return the deposit refund (5-15 cents). Learn more in "How the Money Flows: What Happens to a 5 Cent Bottle Deposit." Distributors, or a third-party agent acting on behalf of distributors, pick up empty containers from the retailers and redemption centers and recycle them.

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management and Prevention Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704