CLYNK, a popular bottle and can redemption service based in South Portland, is launching a new service for people who might occasionally drop off small numbers of returnables.

The company announced the move this week, saying it resolves questions raised by state licensing officials in response to some customer complaints last fall.

CLYNK collects bottles and cans at 25 Hannaford supermarkets in Maine. Customers who set up accounts get individually coded bags to fill with returnables. Once dropped off at a store, the company electronically credits the customers’ accounts with the value of the deposits and the credits are redeemed when they buy groceries. New customers get 10 free bags, then pay 15 cents apiece for additional ones.

CLYNK originally had employees at Hannaford stores who could redeem small numbers of containers on the spot. But, last year, the company eliminated about 50 part-time positions and shifted to self-service only. Hannaford employees distribute bags and help new customers set up accounts.

Under the new program – which will be tested over the next six months – smaller CLYNK bags will be provided free of charge to individuals who return a small number of beverage containers infrequently. A customer can get three bags at a time, and each can hold 10 to 15 bottles and cans. Customers still have to set up accounts to get the credit for the returnables, but there is no up-front cost.

Clayton Kyle, CLYNK’s chief executive, said this week that the new service ensures that the company meets licensing requirements that were set up for traditional redemption centers.


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