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Letter: Bottle Bill Continues to Work

To the Editor:

As the legislative session gets under way, one issue that’s sure to get some attention is our state’s bottle bill. The Agency of Natural Resources will be making a recommendation to our legislators about whether to maintain, expand or repeal the state’s most effective recycling program. As the owner of a redemption center in Randolph, I hope the agency and our legislators keep in mind all the ways the bottle bill helps Vermont and those who live here. For example, our current bottle bill keeps roughly 250 million containers off our roadsides and out of our rapidly filling landfills every year.

At our redemption centers, we recycle hundreds of millions of cans and bottles every year. The recycling rate for redeemable containers is more than double the rate we see in curbside and drop-off recycling. The incentive of getting your nickel back motivates people to recycle far more than any other program out there.

In addition, the redemption system employs hundreds of Vermonters in green jobs, and helps community groups and youth sports teams fund their work through bottle drives. Not to mention the fact that litter has gone down significantly since the bottle bill was implemented 40 years ago. Campers and bikers visiting our state love our clean roads and forests, and we would like to keep them that way. Doing away with the bottle bill would surely be detrimental to our local environment.

As someone who works with the redemption system every day, I see the widespread benefits of the bottle bill. I have worked here in Randolph at M&M beverage for the last 34 years. I have owned this redemption center, now Bob’s M&M Beverage, for four years. I have given my all to make it successful. I urge the agency and our legislators to expand this successful program to additional types of beverage containers, so we can build on its long track record of success.

Robert Moreau

Bob’s M&M Beverage