What Is a Beverage Dealer
According to PRC 14510, the term “beverage dealer” refers to a retail business that sells beverage containers to consumers. Since vending machines and on-sale businesses (such as restaurants and bars) are not included, the definition refers to off-sale beverage retailers. Typical examples of beverage dealers include, but are not limited to, supermarkets, community markets, gas marts, convenience stores, liquor stores, WalMarts, Targets, membership bulk stores, and health food stores that sell program beverages.
Are All Beverage Dealers Required to Establish a Recycling Center?
No. Dealers outside of convenience zones are not required to establish recycling centers. Supermarkets that create convenience zones often do host recycling centers, however, any dealer with enough space may choose to establish a recycling center if approval from the commercial landlord and local government is granted. Unserved zones are convenience zones where no recycling center is located, and where the Department has determined that conditions for exemption are unfounded. Dealers within unserved zones undergo a 60-day grace period shortly after the zone becomes unserved. After the conclusion of the grace period, dealers are required to redeem containers in their store according to PRC 14571.6, or opt to pay the Department $100 per day in lieu of redeeming in store. Please note that the $100 per day option is not a fine but an option that is specified in statute, and rarely utilized due to expense. Once one or more recycling centers become operational in the zone, dealers in that zone will be notified of the existence of the recycler, and advised that in-store redemption is no longer required. Other statutory requirements affecting all dealers, whether inside or outside of a convenience zone, can be found under the heading of Dealer Requirements.
How Are Beverage Dealers Inside Convenience Zones Identified?
The Department recognizes dealers in zones by the following methods based on PRC 14510:
- Dealers identified in American Business Information (ABI) database.
- Dealer locations established by geographic information mapping system.
How Are Beverage Dealers Inside Convenience Zones Notified of the Need to Establish a Recycling Center?
Beverage dealers are initially notified of their status through Exemption and Revocation Process contacts based on PRC 14571.7.
The contacts include:
- A letter from the Department is mailed to affected participants of proposed exemption specifying which convenience zones are affected. This notice is to solicit public comment. Note: The Department does not send such notices out to affected participants for the Revocation Process since doing so is not mandated.
- Another letter from the Department advising affected participants of Department’s decision concerning the Exemption Process or Revocation Process is then mailed.
If an exemption or revocation decision either denies or revokes exemption on the basis of lack of convenience for consumers, the affected zone becomes unserved and then subject to the 60-day Grace Period Notice Series based on PRC 14571.7. The first, second and final notice of the grace period are sent as first class mail as follows:
- First Notice. Advises dealers that a recycler must be established in their zone by the conclusion of 60 days from date of notice OR will be required to redeem CRV containers in-store, or pay $100 per day to the Department in lieu of redeeming CRV containers in-store.
- Second Notice. Same message as First Notice, but altered to advise that 30 days have elapsed without a recycling center established in the zone.
- Final Notice. Advises end of grace period and that dealer will have to begin in-store redemption of CRV containers. A Dealer Affidavit, redemption instructions and CRV information are attached.
Other notices are sent to dealers to advise of status changes affecting a convenience zone:
- Notice of Recycler in Zone. Advises dealers that there is now a recycling center operating in the zone, and that they and dealers within the zone are not required to redeem CRV containers in their store.
- Notice of Exempted Zone. Advises dealers that the zone was granted an exemption, and that they and dealers within the zone are not required to redeem CRV containers in their store.
- Notice of Deleted Zone. Advises dealers that the supermarket has either declared less than $2 million gross annual sales, or has closed for business, and that they and dealers within the zone are not required to redeem CRV containers in their store.
For additional information on administration of beverage dealers, please contact the Convenience Zone Unit at (916) 322-0195.