This is How much I made Depositing Bottles

For a long time I saw a bunch of people in the past with cans and bottles sky high as I walked around New York City and I never knew why. Until now.

There’s a Seinfeld entitled “The Bottle Deposit” where Kramer and Newman attempt to go to Michigan and deposit a bunch of cans, glass and bottles because in Michigan they earn 10 cents per bottle or can instead of what you get in New York (where the episode took place) which is 5 cents per can.

It was a great episode but there was one problem that left me wondering. They never said just how much they would have made if this plan would have gone through.

SO based off of sheer curiosity I was inspired to see just how much someone can make if they collected a cars worth of bottles and cans and deposited them. If I’m not mistaken Michigan law states you can’t transfer bottles, and cans across state lines. Since this is the case and I don’t feel like driving all the way to Michigan for 5 cents extra per bottle I decided to try bottle collecting fill up my car and see what I could make just by getting 5 cents per bottle. Here’s what happened….

Collecting the bottles to fill up the garbage bags took a bit longer than I thought. I cleared most if not all of the bottles from swampy wild life areas, forests and liter on the side of the road. Contributing to helping clear liter was beneficial but it took a long time to fill up my car.

After I retrieved the bottles and put them in my car, the next day I went to the bottle deposit. I felt like I was pulling up in a brinks truck. I thought I was going to get hundreds. That’s what I thought at the time.

I did have to go outside the city for the deposit because I quickly found out the deposits in and around the city are a complete mad house, at least they were at the time.

After I took a ton of bags out of my car and lined them up I had to wait about a half hour for the machines to be cleared with people who seemingly had more bottles and cans than I did!

I was filling the machines basically one bottle at a time because the machine kept yelling at me if I put 2 in at once. That just added a bunch of time instead of having a constant flow.

After about 2 and a half hours of putting the bottles in the machines, and the stalling, I earned $42.67 from just about an entire cars worth of bottles and cans. For about one and a half days for $42.67? In my mind it’s not worth the time or the energy for me anyway. I would have just rather recycled them or have given the deposits to someone less fortunate.

There are a lot of bright sides to this experience however. At least I got to help out the environment a bit by getting rid of some litter. That I don’t regret. I absolutely love helping out the environment any way I can. I understand for some people of course this amount of money is worth the time and effort. This is completely understandable if you’re strapped for cash. I get it. So if this is something you’d like to try and get a little extra cash I’d say go for it. It was an interesting experience. Maybe we need to get the deposits up to 10 cents nationwide. I will say, those people in Michigan must be living large.



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