HARTFORD, CT, December 14, 2022 – Partnering with The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Connecticut Food Association (CFA), and Connecticut-based recycling companies TOMRA and Envipco, have announced the launch of “Recycling Makes Cents” — a public education campaign to raise awareness of the coming changes to the state’s bottle deposit recycling system commonly known as ‘the Bottle Bill’.
Starting January 1, 2023, Public Act 21-58 will make most beverages eligible for a five-cent deposit when returned to a store or redemption center. States with bottle deposits have seen up to an 84% reduction in beverage container litter and beverage container recycling rates up to four times that of states without such laws.
Previously only soda, beer, and water were part of the program. Now glass, plastic, and metal containers of hard seltzer, juice, sports drinks, kombucha, coffee & teas, and others will also have a deposit value. Wine, liquor, and dairy containers will continue to be excluded from the program.
Connecticut is facing what DEEP Commissioner Dykes has called a “silent waste crisis.” With the Hartford waste-to-energy facility closing in 2022, the state is experiencing a waste disposal capacity shortfall. More waste is being transported to out-of-state landfills by truck, which increases waste costs and greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, some Connecticut municipalities have seen recycling tip fees increase by 840% as China tightened quality standards for importing recyclables.
In response, the legislature passed Public Act 21-58 on a bipartisan basis, which will make several changes to the deposit system to increase recycling in a system paid for by beverage companies rather than the public. The state has invested in increasing public access to deposit redemption by creating a $5m grant for entrepreneurs to open redemption centers in underserved neighborhoods. Requiring chain stores selling beverages to provide reverse vending machines has created 324 new redemption locations statewide since 2021.
The law also raises the amount paid to retailers and redemption centers by beverage distributors for accepting containers from the public. This has created eight new redemption centers statewide since 2021 and is expected to increase. Common beverages like juice and sports drinks will become eligible for a deposit refund in January 2023. And finally, the incentive for consumers to recycle will increase with the deposit value rising from five to ten cents in January 2024.
When Oregon raised its container deposit value from five to ten cents, the percentage of containers returned for recycling rose from 64% in 2016 to 86% in 2019 .
Recycling Makes Sense campaign will include signage at stores and redemption centers
Now DEEP, the Connecticut Food Association, TOMRA and Envipco have partnered to raise public awareness of coming changes. The campaign includes signage in stores and redemption centers and a website coming in January (RecyclingMakesCentsCT.com).
“Connecticut retailers are proud to support the state in this effort to preserve our natural environment and increase recycling. We do our part everyday by providing consumers an easy way to get their deposit money back while they shop,” said Wayne Pesce, President of the Connecticut Food Association.
“TOMRA has partnered with Connecticut residents and retailers to redeem bottles and cans for recycling for the past 30 years. We have helped other states and countries achieve their waste and litter reduction goals as they have implemented deposit recycling programs and it’s exciting to see our home state of Connecticut take a similar leadership role,” said TOMRA North America CEO Andy Hollyer.
“Envipco is proud to serve Connecticut retailers and redemption centers in meeting the expanded bottle redemption needs of our communities and consumers. We congratulate the CFA, DEEP, the state legislature and our Governor for their environmental leadership and commitment to a cleaner Connecticut,” said Envipco President of Container Collection Services U.S., Tina Bergers.
To find out more and to learn how to redeem cans and bottles, visit RecyclingMakesCentsCT.com