May 2017

No Deposit, No Return

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The beverage deposit law in Connecticut needs to be trashed! First enacted in 1978, the law became effective on January 1, 1980 and was initially targeted to address the problem of litter. Over time the law has been expanded, and as a result, has created a monetary windfall for our state. Since 2009 all of the deposit money that does not get redeemed by consumers goes directly into Connecticut’s General Fund. Not surprisingly, ours is one of only 11 states that even has such a law. Governor Malloy recently stated that he would like to see the amount of the deposit raised to ten cents.

Rather than double the deposit amount, we should do the exact opposite and eliminate this inconvenient and inefficient process altogether. For almost forty years we have been burdened with the cumbersome procedure of deposit and redemption for certain types of beverage containers. The obvious reason we should stop doing this is that in Connecticut we are already required to recycle by law. In our town we even have special curbside recycling bins that are easy to load, easy to move and get emptied regularly-which by the way, we are paying for. Similar ease-of -use receptacles are required at apartment buildings and commercial establishments as well.

Most of us already do a fine job of putting our spaghetti sauce jars, soup cans and all other types of glass, metal or plastic containers and paper items into these bins as a matter of habit (or duty). Why do we need to recycle just our soda, beer and water bottles and cans in a different manner? We don’t. And as a matter of fact, many of us do not bother with redeeming our containers for cash at all. We choose to skip the time-consuming, often messy collection, storage, transportation and redemption of these types of beverage containers. Unfortunately we cannot skip paying the deposit money at the time of purchase!

Let’s simplify our lives and recycle all of our containers the same, fast, easy way—at the curb. 39 other states can’t all be wrong. Let’s keep our nickels, enjoy our beverages, and do away with the beverage deposit law in our state. And one more thing… please don’t litter.


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