Lawmakers in Montpelier are considering expanding Vermont’s bottle bill

Lawmakers in Montpelier are considering expanding Vermont’s bottle bill. But more cash for your cans could cause some complications. Vermont has two parallel recyclable waste streams: single stream blue bins and redemption machines or centers. Both streams ultimately make their way into the recycling market. The bill could mean more bottles make their way to redemption centers and small grocery stores, and fewer into the single-stream blue bins, many of which make their way to Casella Waste Systems. Casella Vice President Joe Fusco says the bill could have unintended consequences for Vermont’s recycling infrastructure. “When you have high fixed costs because of that infrastructure and you put fewer materials through it because of being taken out by bottle bills, it ultimately makes recycling more expensive for Vermonters,” Fusco said. Republican lawmakers say they share that concern and that the redemption waste stream would require more trucking and shipping, furthering our carbon emissions. Ultimately, this bill could land on Gov.  Scott’s desk. He says he is concerned about the impact on consumers, especially given inflation. Instead, he says lawmakers should be focusing on tax relief proposals to help Vermonters.

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