Lawmakers To Consider Deposits On More Bottled Drinks

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – By the time he redeems boxes and bags of bottles and cans at the Waltham Redemption Center, Angel expects as much as twenty dollars from the nickel deposits.

“It keeps everything cleaner and it fully recycles all the materials,” he said.

Under the state’s thirty year old bottle bill consumers are charged five cents on carbonated beverages like soft drinks, mineral water, beer and other malt beverages, and it’s been confusing.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

“They’re bringing in water, juices, milk and we have to say no, no, no, We throw it away,” said Michelle McLean of the redemption center.

But bills to update and expand the deposit fees to include juices, sports drinks and water will get a hearing on Beacon Hill Wednesday. Advocates say it’s time for an update since these kinds of bottles were not so plentiful even ten years ago.

“I think you would get more people to redeem bottles and cans than what they currently do,” said Nicole McAllister, shopping at Omni Foods in Weston.

But grocers like Suren Avidisian, Omni’s manager, says it became a difficult situation with people basically bringing their trash to a food store. He had to invest in an outside recycling bin at a cost, and believes the five cent deposit is just a tax since many put the cans to the curb and the state gets the nickel.

“It’s a noble attempt to try to get recycling, but in reality, these plastic containers, by a large percentage, are already being recycled through curbside recycling,” he said.

The debate has been waged before on Beacon Hill with little movement. Lawmakers will try again Wednesday with hearings on as many as twenty bills.

More from Beth Germano
  • Frank Davis

    Smoking is down so less people buying smokes, liquor double tax was revoked and people are making less than they use to? Hmm, sounds like it is time to raise the “tax” on something to make up for the fall in revenue. Instead of fixing the problems with spending on their end the pols raise & take more taxes from the people who can’t afford to have more money taken from them. It will raise the cost of living on certain people but there is “no rising cost of living being experienced.” Keep living the dream, Dems! One day the sheep will wake from the dream and turn on you.

  • Marian L

    Really? If they are going to do this then make sure I can go ANYWHERE to have my deposits deposited.

    BJ Wholesale does not allow other brand of bottles. Stop & Shop does not allow other bottles too. If I have to pay on cans and bottles, then make sure I can go some where LOCAL and not travel all the way to the store that I made the purchase from. Gas is not cheap anymore, and since this is increasing I guess the government has to make sure your charged in the long run for something.

  • Paul

    Remember the Politicians’ Pledge….NO NEW TAXES!!!! (but we never said we wouldn’t raise “fees”) Higher driver’s licenses fee, NEW salt water fishing fees, Small claims is now $40-50 bucks to file, and the list goes on…and on…..and on

    Try to get them to pledge NO NEW INCREASES!!!! (that would include Taxes, fees and the new popular wording “administrative charges”)

  • Chris

    A bottle deposit is NOT a tax – it is a completely refundable deposit. You can return these bottles during your regular trip to the grocery store. And it’s only five cents – when did five cents ever kill anyone? If you buy one drink a day for a month, that is only $1.50 – and you can have all of that back if you really want. I don’t think there is much to complain about here.

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