Friday, March 24, 2006

Michigan Bottle Bill Story

Here is a report from the bottle bill front lines. A reader posted these comments in one of the stories and I thought they were worth sharing with everyone.

Jordan's blog on Michigan Radio can be found at

Here are his comments:

Jordan: I live in Michigan. Home of the 10 cent refund. In fact, my job actually revolves very heavily around recycling of bottles and cans.

Bottle Bill Blog: What exactly do you do in recycling?

Jordan: I work at a retailer with the Tomra machines. One of my main responsibilities is to make sure everything is running smoothly. I have to fix the machines if they break down, help the customers, you name it.

Bottle Bill Blog: How do you like the Tomra machines? I am thinking of doing an article on their machines and would love any feedback or information you would provide.

Jordan: The Tomra machines are great, especially the Tomra 83 HCp machines. We just got those at our store last month and we've had LOTS of positive feedback from our customers. I like them MUCH better than the old Tomra 22 and 42 models we had. The new ones make less time for me back there and more time to do my other tasks. has TONS of information about all of their machines.

Bottle Bill Blog: I have checked out their site (I even have a link), but I was looking for more information from someone that actually uses them and isn't trying to sell them. (You don't work for them do you?) How do your customers like them? And what would you say is the general response to a bottle bill in Michigan?

Jordan: I work at a Meijer store in Michigan. I think the new machines are much better because there isn't as much to clean and they're easier to clean. They also crush the pet and aluminum far better than our old machines did. Also, they go straight into the big bins. With the old machines, we had to dump them into those bins.

The customers love our new machines. Sure we still have the occasional irate customer, but for the most part they love them.

The general response from the Michiganders with the bottle bill seems pretty positive. People return maybe 20 or 30 cans and use that as a coupon of sorts when they are at the checkout. It helps out some with a limited income, but it's a great way for anybody to make extra money. For example, i'm going on vacation in May and i've found almost 650 cans ($65) just walking or driving down some of our back roads. This money will go to my fun money fund! :-)

The one bad thing about the bottle bill is that our store is very close to the Indiana state line. We have a big problem with people from IN returning their non-refundable cans for our 10 cent refund. We won't take them out of the store in cuffs over one or two non-refundable cans, but some of them try to return up to and more than 100 cans easily. Those are the ones we watch out for.

Whew! That was longer than one of my actual posts in my blog!

Bottle Bill Blog: Thanks for taking the time to post this. Most of us in the non-bottle bill states need to hear more of this.


At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Bob from Northeast Tennessee said...

Great post Eric!


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