Can You Return Bottles To Walmart? [Locations, Process, Hours]

Last updated: 10 Oct, 2023 |
Can You Return Bottles To Walmart [Locations, Process, Hours]

Hey there, eco-warrior! Have you ever been surrounded by empty bottles after a wild weekend or even a regular Tuesday?

If yes, let’s talk about Walmart. You might know Walmart as a place where you can buy everything from lawnmowers to socks, but did you know that they’re also leading the way in recycling?

Get ready because we’ll dive deep into the world of bottle returns at Walmart.

Can You Return Bottles To Walmart?

Yes, Walmart accepts bottle returns in states with bottle deposit laws, also known as “bottle bills.” Under these state laws, customers must pay an additional fee when purchasing beverages in containers such as beer, soft drinks, and water.

The good news is that this fee is refunded when the container is returned to a designated redemption center.

There are currently ten states in the United States that have bottle deposit laws: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Hawaii, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont. If you live in one of these states, you can quickly cash in your empty bottles at Walmart.

Walmart’s Commitment to Sustainability

Walmart is a significant player in the retail industry and a strong advocate for environmental sustainability.

They have implemented various initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable farming, all to make a positive impact on the planet.

Additionally, their bottle return policy is an excellent example of their commitment to eco-friendliness.

Participating Locations

Before you start hauling every bottle in your neighborhood to the nearest Walmart, there is a catch.

Not all Walmarts are participating in this eco-friendly celebration. It’s like being invited to a private party; only specific locations have been invited.

So, do yourself a favor and look online or call your local store to see if they participate in the bottle return program.

Where Does Walmart Have a Bottle Return in the U.S.?

Walmart’s bottle return stations are primarily located in states with a ‘bottle bill’ in place. A bottle bill is an arrangement where retailers pay an extra deposit for beverages and soft drinks, which they can recover by facilitating the return of glass bottles.

In the U.S., the following states have a bottle bill:

  • California
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Oregon
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Iowa
  • Connecticut
  • Vermont

Therefore, if you reside in any of these states, you can use Walmart’s bottle return policies and conveniently return your bottles for a refund.

Walmart’s Bottle Return Policy in Canada

In Canada, Walmart extends its bottle return services to all provinces, thanks to the nationwide bottle bill. This means that regardless of where you are in Canada, you can return glass bottles for refunds at Walmart stores.

Types of Bottles You Can Return

It’s important to know that Walmart has strict guidelines regarding which bottles they accept for recycling.

They only accept glass bottles that have contained beverages, such as soft drinks or canned products. This is because glass bottles are easy to clean and can be refilled by manufacturers, making them perfect for recycling.

Popular brands like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Stewarts, Jarritos, 7UP, and Sidral Mundet offer their drinks in glass bottles that can be returned for a cash refund.

Look for a recycling symbol and a state abbreviation to ensure your bottle is eligible for recycling at Walmart.

Types of Bottles You Can Return
Types of Bottles You Can Return

How Much Can You Get for Returning Bottles at Walmart?

The amount you receive for returning bottles at Walmart is determined by your location and the type of container you return. Most states with bottle bills will pay up to ten cents per container returned, with a daily limit of $25 worth of bottles.

When you return your bottles, the return station will give you a receipt, also known as a “bottle slip.” To receive your refund, present this slip at the checkout counter.

How many bottles can you return? Walmart Daily Limit/person?

It’s essential to remember that Walmart has a daily limit of $25 per person for bottle refunds, but in states with ten-cent container deposits, you can return up to 250 bottles daily.

Finding Walmart Bottle Return Locations

Locating Walmart bottle return locations is a breeze. You can check the store’s website or use their store locator tool. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you find the nearest bottle return location:

  1. Visit the Walmart website ( on your computer or mobile device.
  2. Click on the “Store Finder” option at the top of the page.
  3. Enter your zip code or city and state in the search bar, then click “search.”
  4. A list of Walmart stores in your area will appear. Look for stores with descriptions containing “bottle return” or “redemption center.” These stores are more likely to accept bottle returns.
  5. Click on the store name to view store-specific Walmart bottle return hours, services, and directions.

Alternatively, you can contact the store’s customer service desk or visit the store in person to inquire about their bottle return policy and location.

The Process of Returning Bottles to Walmart

If you meet the criteria for bottle return (living in one of the specified U.S. states or in Canada), here’s a step-by-step guide on how to return bottles to Walmart:

  1. Use the Walmart Store Finder: Start by using the Walmart Store Finder to locate nearby Walmart stores that offer bottle return stations or vending machines.
  2. Bring Your Bottles: Head over to the store with the bottles you want to return. Look for the return stations or vending machines inside the store.
  3. Return the Bottles: Slot the bottles into the return stations or vending machines. Ask a store employee for assistance if you need clarification on their location.
  4. Obtain a Receipt: The vending machine or return station will print a receipt. Take this receipt to the checkout counter.
  5. Receive Your Refund: An employee will scan the receipt and provide you with the bottle refund amount. Most Walmart stores have a maximum limit of $25 in returns per person per day.

Walmart Bottle Return Hours

The operating hours for the bottle return service can vary from store to store. In areas with limited interest, the service hours may be shorter, while some locations offer this service around the clock.

It’s advisable to call ahead or check with your local store for the specific operating hours before making the trip.

Returning Bottles Not Purchased from Walmart

Surprisingly, you can return a glass bottle of a drink that wasn’t bought initially from Walmart, as long as the Walmart store you’re returning it to carries that specific item in its inventory.

This flexibility ensures that you can contribute to recycling efforts even if you didn’t initially purchase the item from Walmart.

See also: Can You Return the Food to Walmart?

Preparing Bottles for Return

Remember when you tried to make spaghetti and ended up with a kitchen that looked like a tomato war zone? Yeah, returning bottles is way easier than that. Just make sure they’re empty, clean, and sans caps.

A quick rinse should do the trick. And if you’re feeling extra, you can sort them by type. Gold star for you!

Benefits of Walmart’s Bottle Return

Environmental Impact

By now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, cool, I get some change back, but what’s the big deal?” Well, my eco-conscious comrade, every bottle you return is one less bottle in a landfill or the ocean. And that’s a pretty big deal. It’s like turning off the water while you brush your teeth, but on a much larger scale.

Incentives for Customers

Besides the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from saving the planet, there’s also the cold, hard cash. Yep, Walmart rewards you for your recycling efforts. So the next time you’re eyeing that fancy gadget or those cute shoes, remember: those bottles can help you get there.

Walmart’s Role in Reducing Waste

Walmart’s bottle return policy isn’t just a win for you; it’s a win for everyone. By offering this service, Walmart is taking a stand against waste and promoting a more sustainable future. It’s like when your grandma used to say, “Waste not, want not.” Only this time, it’s not about finishing your broccoli but making the world greener.

Bottle Return Policies of Competing Stores

Now, Walmart isn’t the only show in town regarding bottle returns. Other retailers, like Target, Costco, and your local mom-and-pop shops, might also have bottle return policies.

But, much like trying to find the perfect avocado, it can be hit or miss. Some stores might give you more bang for your bottle, while others might leave you feeling a bit… deflated.

The key is to do a little homework. And no, we don’t mean the algebra kind.

You also like reading this: Does Walmart Recycle Batteries?

Exploring Alternative Options for Bottle Returns

In states with bottle bills, retailers offer bottle return services in exchange for deposit refunds. Stores like Albertsons, Cost Plus World Market, Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, and Whole Foods are among those that accept bottles in participating states.

This list is incomplete, as most retailers selling beverages in glass bottles also offer bottle return services in states with bottle bills.

Advantages of Walmart’s Policy

Here’s where Walmart shines brighter than your grandma’s freshly polished silverware. First, their widespread presence means you’ll likely find a participating store near you. It’s like having a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but for bottles.

Plus, their machines are user-friendly, even if you’re the type who struggles with setting up a TV remote. And let’s remember the sweet sound of coins clinking as your reward.

Challenges and Limitations

But wait! Before you start loading up your car with every bottle in sight, you should be aware of a few bumps on the bottle-return road.

Common Issues Faced by Customers

Have you ever tried squeezing into your skinny jeans after a Thanksgiving feast? Yeah, sometimes returning bottles can feel a bit like that.

Machines can be complete or out of order, and occasionally, they might reject a bottle or two for no apparent reason. It’s like they have a mind of their own. Maybe they’re just having a bad day?

Restrictions and Exclusions

And here’s the fine print (don’t worry, we’ve magnified it for you). Not all bottles are created equal in the eyes of Walmart. Some might be too big, too small, or just… too something.

It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Or a giraffe in a Mini Cooper. You get the drift.

Tips for a Smooth Bottle Return Experience

Alright, eco-warrior, let’s gear up for success with some pro tips to make your bottle return journey smoother than a freshly shaved alpaca.

Keeping Bottles Clean and Organized

Remember that time you tried to find a needle in a haystack? Or your left sock in the laundry? Keep your bottles organized to avoid such chaos.

Separate them by type, rinse them, and store them in reusable bags or bins. Your future self will thank you.

Potential Policy Changes

In fast-paced retail, change is the only constant. Walmart may change its bottle return policy. They may accept more bottles or offer Earth Month bonuses. Who knows?

Their loyalty program could be “Return 100 bottles, get a free goldfish!” (Not the goldfish, but a recycler can dream?)

Technological Advancements in Recycling

The future is bright, not just because you bought neon sneakers last week. Recycling will become more efficient and eco-friendly as technology advances.

What Happens After You Return Your Bottles?

A beverage wholesaler periodically collects all bottles from machines in designated areas. These containers are sorted into similar-shaped containers.

Cleaning and refilling these glass bottles is done in manufacturing plants. Unlike other containers, glass drink bottles can be filled 50 times, making them sustainable.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Alright, eco-champion, here’s the lowdown:

  1. Walmart’s bottle return policy is a win-win for you and the planet.
  2. Not all locations participate, so do your homework.
  3. Keep those bottles clean, organized, and confetti-free.
  4. The future of recycling at Walmart looks brighter than a disco ball at a ’70s party.

Please note that some Walmart stores may have special hours for bottle returns. It is always best to check with your local Walmart store to confirm their bottle return hours.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I return bottles purchased from other stores at Walmart?
Generally, yes! As long as they fit the criteria. But no, you can’t return that bottle of fancy French perfume.

What happens to the returned bottles?

They embark on a magical journey to be reborn as new bottles, carpeting, or clothing. It’s the circle of life, recycling edition!

What is Walmart’s beverage container fee?

In Michigan, Walmart charges a beverage container fee of 10 cents for each eligible beverage container purchased. This fee is required by Michigan’s bottle deposit law, which aims to reduce litter and increase recycling. Suitable beverage containers include:

  • Water bottles
  • Soda bottles
  • Beer and malt beverage bottles
  • Wine coolers
  • Fruit juice and sports drink bottles

The beverage container fee is added to the purchase price of the beverage and is displayed on the receipt. Customers can receive a refund for the beverage container fee by returning the empty container to any Walmart store in Michigan.

What is the bottle return limit in Michigan?

There is no bottle return limit in Michigan. However, retailers may limit the number of daily beverage containers a customer can return. Walmart, for example, limits customers to returning 25 beverage containers daily.

What happens to bottles returned?

Walmart collects returned beverage containers and then transports them to a redemption center. At the redemption center, the beverage containers are sorted and counted. The redemption center then pays Walmart a refund for the beverage container fee.

The redemption center then sells the returned beverage containers to beverage distributors. The beverage distributors then clean and reuse the beverage containers or recycle them.

Are stores in Michigan taking bottle returns?

Yes, all stores in Michigan must accept bottle returns for eligible beverage containers. This includes Walmart stores.

Customers can return empty beverage containers to the customer service desk at any Walmart store in Michigan. Walmart stores also have reverse vending machines in some locations. Reverse vending machines allow customers to return empty beverage containers and receive a refund for the beverage container fee automatically.


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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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