CTNJ/Opinion: Is Connecticut’s bottle law beyond ‘redemption?’

Terry Cowgill
Terry Cowgill

Terry Cowgill lives in Lakeville, blogs at ctdevilsadvocate.com and is news editor of The Berkshire Record in Great Barrington, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @terrycowgill.

When a government program is broken, most good people in government want to fix it. But what if fixing the program means that the same perennially cash-strapped government will lose money?

That’s the question lawmakers will have to ask themselves as they consider what to do about Connecticut’s bottle deposit law, which we now know is on the verge of collapse, thanks to a terrific report this week by WNPR’s Patrick Skahill.

Connecticut’s bottle bill — wrongly labeled, I think, because it’s no longer proposed legislation and is an actual law — has been around since 1978, when members of the General Assembly were appalled at the state’s litter problem and wanted to do something positive for the environment.

After all, as the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says, states that have bottle deposit laws have higher rates of overall recycling than those without bottle laws. And it stands to reason that they have less litter involving soda-pop, water, and beer containers. But the deposit has remained at 5 cents since the legislation took effect on Jan. 1, 1980.

Read the full story at CT News Junkie.


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