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Advocates Seek To Expand Nickel Bottle Deposits

by Hugh McQuaid | Feb 14, 2014 3:39pm
(9) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Environment

Hugh McQuaid Photo

State lawmakers will receive Valentine’s Day-themed petitions Friday from environmental advocates looking to drum up support for a proposal to expand the 5 cent bottle deposit law to more types of containers.

“Every senator and or representative will be getting a Valentine today from their constituents,” ConnPIRG Associate Sean Doyle said this morning in the Legislative Office Building. “. . . They’ll be getting a little piece of candy, too.”

Doyle said his group has collected more than 4,000 signatures from residents all over Connecticut with some coming from each of all the state’s districts. ConnPIRG is hoping to build on a bill raised by the legislature’s Environment Committee to expand the types of containers upon which consumers would pay a deposit similar to bottles.

“I think that’s a pretty big statement from across the state,” Doyle said.

The deposits serve as an incentive to increase the rate at which people choose to recycle. Currently bottle deposits apply to containers of soda, beer, and water. The language of the raised bill would broaden the law to cover juices, teas, and sports drinks. ConnPIRG wants to see the language changed to cover any type of single-serving beverage. Specifically the group wants a 5 cent deposit charged to small bottles of liquor known as nips.

“Nips are a really common form of litter,” Ryan Cadigan, a ConnPIRG organizer, said.

Environment Committee Co-Chairman Sen. Ed Meyer said he is open to the expansion.

“I think we should. I personally favor it but I don’t know how the committee comes off on it,” Meyer said.

He said the panel’s support for the proposal may be influenced by the testimony they hear when the bill has a public hearing.

The group likely will hear opposition to the measure as well. The state’s grocery stores say they lose between 2 and 4 cents per container that’s returned to their redemption centers and do not want to see the law expanded to include more bottles.

“Our guys would say they’re inundated with bottles and cans but because of the law, they’ve made it work,” Stan Sorkin, president of the Connecticut Food Association, said.

Grocery stores must rent return machines and pay the labor costs of keeping them running and keeping their redemption centers sanitary. That’s not an easy task, he said.

“They are difficult to keep clean, even though you try to do it. There’s a lot of labor involved,” he said.

Sorkin said he doubts claims that added bottle deposits will increase participation in recycling programs. He said most people prefer to dispose of their recyclables through curbside pickup programs.

“It’s an inconvenience to consumers. It’s ridiculous in terms of the hassle of bringing back added products to the stores,” he said.

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(9) Comments

posted by: Art Vandelay | February 14, 2014  3:58pm

The “Bottle Law” is a total joke. Originally every store that sold returnables were required to take them back. Package stores want nothing to do with it nor do most stores. It’s purely a moneymaker for the state. Roadsides are still littered w/bottles & cans. The stores that do have machines make it inconvenient or impossible to return them.  The entire law needs to be repealed.

posted by: Art Vandelay | February 15, 2014  7:18am

I would also like to see some legislator put in a bill to replace Auto Emissions.  It’s another joke 98% of the cars tested pass. The auto industry does an excellent job of policing itself.  It’s just another money grabber for the state.

posted by: state_employee | February 15, 2014  12:40pm

Oh my God, this is an outrage.  Just another TAX on people who buy bottled anything.  The lawmakers don’t give a rats behind about increasing the rate of recycling.  They ONLY care about drumming up the rate of $$$ into their coffers.  They know full well that people will not recycle more often with this bill, which means more $$$ for them.
STOP THE INCESSANT TAXATION.
These people need to leave us alone.  If these lawmakers want to give more money to the local government then they can do so without making me do it too.  It is so frustrating.  Every other day you hear of a new way that they will take your money out of you hands under the guise of “ANYTHING.”
STOP, JUST STOP.  LEAVE THE PEOPLE ALONE.

posted by: state_employee | February 15, 2014  12:41pm

ART is right, the law needs to be repealed.  we have curbside recycle pick up.  Why do I have to go back to the store when I can just put it into my barrel?

posted by: dano860 | February 15, 2014  9:46pm

Just another reason to stop in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and stock up when you are passing through.
Art, If they were serious about cutting costs and expenses, for us, they would look at revising many of the existing CGS and out dated mandates placed upon us.
These were the things I though would be the outcome of the suggestion box.

posted by: lkulmann | February 16, 2014  3:20pm

Another good idea is to collect the boxtops at grocery stores. Its a tasky job but SpEd kids and adults could make collection boxes as an art project. They can have pickup days. Toss out the worn boxes and create new ones as needed. Its taking money from corporations and its a great community service. Bring the tickets to schools for counting and participation in education purchases. Bottles and can taxes on the overly taxed CT residents is a sore subject. The T-word is a bad word. Huge monster corporations don’t pay enough and the poor don’t receive enough…very bad word at this point in time…I vote for boxtops. They’re on practically everything at BJ’s warehouse Wtby.

posted by: StanMuzyk | February 16, 2014  6:37pm

Let’s not overdue the the burden already placed on liquor outlets, chain and small stores.
Realistically, despite our present bottle law, our neighboring states do not appear to be as littered as our roadsides with cans, bottles
and other trash as in Connecticut. our problem is with people who do not respect our littering laws—perhaps due to a lack of determined enforcement.

posted by: Art Vandelay | February 18, 2014  12:22pm

If the state & environmentalists want the “Bottle Law” to work they should raise the deposit rate from a nickel to a quarter. It would be more of an incentive to return them.  For a nickel it’s not worth anyones time or effort.

posted by: StanMuzyk | February 18, 2014  3:40pm

@Art: On the other hand—if you raise the deposit from a nickle to a quarter - some people will not buy the product or cut down on the quantity they purchase—which is then bad for business. There are two sides to a coin.