Does Costco Have Bottle & Can Return?

Updated on September 21, 2021 by
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costco bottle return

Recycling makes a huge difference to our quality of life and our environment. It plays an important role in conserving natural resources, decreasing greenhouse gases, and minimizing water and air pollution. This is why a number of retailers have started implementing recycling programs.

So, does Costco have bottle and can return? Let’s find out.

Does Costco have bottle & can return?

Yes, Costco does have bottle and can return machines where you can return empty cans and bottles for recycling.

Also called redeem machines or reverse vending machines, Costco's bottle and can return service is completely automated. You put the recyclables into the machine, and it auto gathers and sorts them, then gives you the refund back.

In some locations, Costco stores have bottle and can return machines installed in car parks.

What kind of reverse vending machine does Costco use?

The giant retailer uses the Tomra T-53 machine for recycling empty containers, as per online recyclers.

Tomra T-53 machine for recycling

The T53 features a unique locking system, reinforced cabinets and doors, and a color touch screen. It improves the quantity and quality of recycling. It is equipped with Sure Return Technology, offering constant video surveillance of bottles and cans inserted into the machine.

How does a bottle and can return recycling machine work?

Here is how you can use the bottle and can return machine.

Step 1: Enter your empty cans and bottles into the chute at the front of the machine.

Step 2: Press the button at the front of the machine when you’re done.

Step 3: Take the receipt that the bottle and can return machine prints out. You can redeem the receipt for cash at the cash register inside the store.

The machine scans the shapes, materials, or barcodes of the bottles and cans to determine the kind of packaging and give the correct deposit refund.

How much money can you earn recycling containers at Costco?

Depending on your state, you can earn anywhere from 5 cents to 10 cents per bottle or can. In the states of Michigan and California, people can earn around 10 cents for every can or bottle.

How many containers can you return?

There may be restrictions on how many containers you can return to the company within one visit, depending on your state. For example, Californians can return 50 containers per visit daily.

Does Costco ever refuse to accept bottles or cans for recycling?

As a matter of fact, yes. Sometimes, Costco will not accept bottles and cans from certain brands and will spit out a “could not accept this brand” message.

This is simply because the machine does not recognize the barcodes from that brand, and they have to be added in.

What to do if your bottles or cans are rejected by the machine

You can take the rejected bottles and cans to the customer service desk and they will usually give you cash for them.

Wrapping up

Recycling is great for our communities and the environment. And the retailer Costco does have a bottle and can return machines for recycling used bottles and cans. These recycling vending machines are typically located in Costco car parks. You can earn 5 cents to 10 cents per container, depending on the can/bottle you deposit and the state you reside in.