To the editor
America Recycles Day on November 15 is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs. Of course, America Recycles Day is not just a one-day event – our actions affect the environment EVERY day and can play an important role in conserving natural resources.
In 1980, Connecticut’s Bottle Bill went into effect placing a 5-cent deposit on certain beverage cans and bottles. In 2009, the ubiquitous water bottles were added and since the beginning of this year many other items have been included. You may be surprised to find that containers of flavored water, fruit juice, tea, coffee, kombucha, sports and energy drinks now carry a 5-cent deposit.
That deposit is charged to the consumer at the time of purchase and can be redeemed by returning the empties to the store. All stores which sell items bearing a deposit are required to accept returns. Most grocery stores have reverse vending machines (RVMs) which have been programmed to accept the newer items. Other retailers, such as chain drugstores, have had to install RVMs to accept returns for at least the brands they sell.
It may behoove residents to check their containers for redemption values, the designation most likely to be found is CTRV. In January 2024, that deposit will be increased to 10-cents. It is hoped that the increased redemption value will encourage a better rate of return.
The Bottle Bill was originally set up to control litter and has absolutely been an extremely effective tool. Removing plastic, glass and metal through redemption recycling provides much less contaminated material than through single stream, making it more attractive to users of recycled materials.
Remember, recycling bottles and cans is best done through redemption recycling – so don’t throw that 10¢ away!
Chair, Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board