You pay a five cent deposit when buying some bottles or cans in New York State. Your deposit is refunded when you return them to any retailer or distributer that sells beverages for off-premises consumption in New York State.

Stores that sell drinks in bottles and cans are required to accept containers for refund.

Signs must be posted near registers showing what type of containers the store accepts and that a refund of the five cent deposit will be given regardless of where it was purchased.

Get information about bottle refunds.

Eligible bottles and cans include all empty containers under one gallon that were sold in New York State for the following beverage types:

  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Water
  • Soda water
  • Beer
  • Malt beverages
  • Wine cooler containers

Containers must have a New York refund label to be redeemed. 

Food or Beverage Service Establishments must accept all metal cans, aluminum foil products, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and jugs from their customers for recycling. They are not required give you a five cent refund.

You may be limited to 240 beverage containers per visit, per day. Smaller stores may be able to limit you to 72 containers. However, the law states that you may make 48-hour advance arrangements to redeem an unlimited number of empty containers.

Stores that are not open 24 hours a day do not have to accept containers during the first and last half hour of their business day.

A return may be refused if:

  • The store does not carry that type of container
  • The container does not have a proper New York refund label
  • The container is not in reasonably good condition, broken, or corroded
  • The container holds anything other than small amounts of dirt, dust, or moisture

If a store refuses to accept your container and issue a deposit refund, you can file a complaint with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

  • Agency: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Division: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Local Law Enforcement Complaint Line
  • Phone Number: (718) 482-4999
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

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