You risk losing more than your 10 cent deposit in Michigan if you are throwing bottles and cans in the trash instead of recycling them.

We've been taking back bottles and cans for that 10 cent deposit for most if not all of our lives here in Michigan. Call it "forced" recycling if you like, but if you are throwing away those cans, you are technically committing a crime. The Michigan Beverage Container Act of 1976 was updated in 2004 with a stipulation that "prohibits beverage containers, as defined in Deposit Law, from being disposed of in a landfill."

It is worth noting that unless you live next to the dump and are tossing cans over the fence you are not literally putting them in the landfill, but the law goes on to say, "beverage containers may be placed in recycling bins, taken to a recycling center, or redeemed for deposit." This seemingly minor crime will cost you more than a dime: each offense is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $1,000 and 6 months of imprisonment.

Does this seem harsh? Yes. Unenforceable? Probably. It also seems easy enough to do your part and keep America beautiful.

h/t Mix 95.7