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Will House vote on ‘Bottle Bill’ update?

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(WTNH) — Connecticut’s nearly 40 year old ‘Bottle Bill Law‘ is aimed at getting litter off the streets but many believe the law needs to be updated and want to see those deposits doubled.

It is estimated that only about half of the beverage bottles and cans purchased in Connecticut are returned for the nickel deposit. The un-returned deposits total millions a year and the state keeps all that money.

Now there’s a proposal to double the deposit to a dime and expand it to sports and energy drinks as well as teas and juices in an effort to get more people to do what Tiffany West of Vernon does.   She brings them back to the ‘Bottle and Can Redemption Center’ in South Windsor on a regular basis and says, “I really love recycling. I’m very passionate about it and I think it’s a great idea.  I want everyone
to recycle.”

The redemption centers get a 2 cent ‘handling fee’ for for soda and water containers and 1.5 cents for beer cans and bottles.  “Right now it’s almost impossible to run our businesses.  We havn’t seen a ‘handling fee’ increase since the bill started in 1980,” said Shahil Kantesaria, owner of ‘Central Connecticut Redemption Center’ in New Britain.

Representative Mary Mushinsky (D- Wallingford) is the longest serving member of the House and has been involved with this issue for about 40 years and says,  “This bill would give them a pay increase per container, which would open more stores and keep the remaining ones open.”

Rep. Chris Davis (R-East Windsor) has an entirely different view saying,  “A 5 cent increase is really like a 5 cent tax increase on people of Connecticut that want to purchase items that have this recycling part of it.”

One of the largest beer distributors in the state testified against this bill noting it would increase the cost of a case of beer over a dollar and could push more sales into Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts.

Those pushing for this bill are hoping it comes up for a vote in the House of Representatives next
week. 
 

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