Been stockpiling those returnables? Get ready for a payday. Well, (possibly) in $25 increments, at least at first.

The State of Michigan temporarily suspended bottle return to help keep the public and workers safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 March 23.

On Monday, Michigan Department Treasury issued a Notice Regarding Phased Reestablishment of Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Return Program stating,

"As certain other commercial and economic restrictions have recently been eased, it has been determined that the bottle deposit return program should resume in a safe manner."

Starting June 15, all grocery stores and other retailers with bottle return at the front of the store, or housed in a separate area, and serviced by reverse vending machines, requiring minimal or no person-to-person contact, must re-open their bottle return facilities.

Retailers have to ensure that those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols and restrictions to protect the public and employees, including the most recent guidelines to protect workers.

Retailers may also, at their own discretion, limit hours for bottle return, limit the number of machines operating, limit returns to $25 per person per day, and close facilities as needed for cleaning,

The State says that retailers must also limit the volume of weekly returned beverage containers to no more than 140% of their average weekly collection volume for the period April and May 2019.

They are referring to this period as "Phase 1" and say the Treasury "will issue further guidance regarding additional phases of the reestablishment of the bottle deposit program in the near future."

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan's stay-at-home order, with groups of up to 100 allowed to gather outside with social distancing. Retailers will be able to reopen to customers without an appointment on June 4, and restaurants will be able to start offering dine-in service again on June 8.

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