Governor Jodi Rell has released her proposal for the state’s budget for the next two years. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports her plan to change the bottle deposit law has support from a key stakeholder.
The Governor’s proposal would place a nickel deposit not only on soda and beer bottles, but also on water bottles. In addition, instead of having the bottlers receive and pay out the nickels – the state will set up a nonprofit to take on that job. And the state will also keep the unredeemed deposits. At the same time the state will pay municipalities for any bottle with a deposit that residents put in a curbside bin. The Governor predicts this new system could bring in more than 30 million dollars. Brian Flaherty of Nestle Waters North America, says his company supports the proposal. He says it modernizes the deposit law by re-routing some of the money to fund curbside recycling. And in so doing recycles other products, besides beverage containers.
“We think those nickels are better spent leveraging curbside than in the pockets of bottlers...it’s the best model forward because it recognizes other things need to be recycled too.”
Jesse Stratton is a former legislator, who now represents the Connecticut Sierra Club and Environment Northeast. Stratton says she questions whether the numbers in the Governor’s proposal add up, but she is “wholeheartedly excited” that more containers could be recycled.
“The complicated system she has proposed to do that I think doesn’t balance quite frankly. So that undermines perhaps that goal or at at east falsely says to people we can get a lot of money for the state and fund municipal recycling.”
Stratton, who has been trying to get the bottle bill expanded for 15 years says she expects a deposit will be placed on water bottles this legislative session. For WNPR I’m Nancy Cohen