Proposed bottle bill expansion could alter redemption processes

Published: Feb. 11, 2023 at 7:21 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The list of recyclables you can take to a redemption center could get a little longer if the state’s bottle bill expands to include more products.

Some involved in the recycling process say wine bottle redemption would help them.

The Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District accepts recyclables, but one of their most costly recyclables to manage is glass. They say it is one of the only recyclables they take no revenue from, and the cost to handle it continues to rise.

Management at the waste district says adding wine bottles to the bottle bill would relieve them of having to handle some of that glass, and lower their costs.

“The only thing that we have that is more expensive to get rid of are tires,” says Paul Tomasi from the N.E.K. Waste Management District. “Everything else, for the most part -- well, there is hazardous waste that costs money as well -- but paper, tin, aluminum, plastic, all generate a little bit of revenue so its worthwhile to keep that material.”

Tomasi has done his own research in tracking wine bottles that come into the facility; finding that it makes up about 50% of his glass, so if they were added to the bottle bill, it would make a significant difference.

He does say he understands the concern in expanding the bottle bill, as it could add pressure on already overstressed redemption centers.