H.175 AN ACT RELATING TO THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER REDEMPTION SYSTEM
in the State Senate
on May 11, 2022, by a vote of
Purpose: The purpose of this vote was to expand Vermont’s bottle redemption program, raise more revenue for the Clean Water Fund, and recycle more of Vermont’s bottles.
Currently, 46% of beverages in glass, plastic and metal sold in VT are covered, resulting in 77% of this pool of bottles being redeemed. A 2013 Agency of Natural Resources report found that 20% of the beverage containers redeemed in Vermont were not sold here. The most notable additions requiring a $0.05 deposit to purchase are bottled water, bottled sports drinks, and hard cider in plastic containers
Non-liquor bottle deposits gives Vermont about $3 million annually, which the JFO expects to increase to $4.5 million if H.175 passes. From 2025-30, this $4.5 million would be split 50/50 between the Clean Water Fund and a newly created (private) Producer Responsibility Organization. From 2031, this $4.5 million would be split 50/50 between the Clean Water Fund and a government Waste Management Assistant Fund.
H.175 mandates that must be 3 redemption centers per county and at least one in any town with more than 7,000 people.
Analysis: Those voting YES argued that expanding the types of bottles for a deposit would result in more recycling, and fewer bottles along Vermont roadsides. Without H.175, more landfills would need to be built to bury contaminated bottles, at taxpayer expense.
Those voting NO argued that H.175 is a regressive tax, since Vermonters of all income levels must pay the deposits. It would do little to improve the number of bottles that are recycled, and create an enormously complex process. The amount of CO2 emissions saved from expanding the bottle tax program could be exceeded by individuals driving to drop off their bottles. Witness testimony from Vermont’s solid waste districts showed that H.175 would not result in more bottles being recycled.
As Recorded in the Senate Journal, for Wednesday, May 11, 2022: "Was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment on a roll call, Yeas 17, Nays 13" (Read the Journal, p. 1405).
Watch the floor debate on YouTube.
Roll Call! House Expands 5¢ Bottle Deposit Fees to (Almost) All Beverage Containers (99-46), 2021
Joint Fiscal Office’s fiscal note on H.175
Container Expansion Courts Chaos – EAI 2021 blog post
How They Voted
Becca Balint (D-Windham) – YES
Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) – YES
Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) – NO
Christopher Bray (D-Addison) – YES
Randy Brock (R-Franklin) – NO
Brian Campion (D-Bennington) – YES
Thomas Chittenden (D-Chittenden) – NO
Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) – YES
Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) – NO
Ann Cummings (D-Washington) – YES
Ruth Hardy (D-Addison) – YES
Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland) – YES
Russ Ingalls (R-Essex-Orleans) – NO
M. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) – NO
Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden) – YES
Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) – YES
Richard Mazza (D-Chittenden-Grand Isle) – NO
Richard McCormack (D-Windsor) – YES
Alice Nitka (D-Windsor District) – NO
Corey Parent (R-Franklin) – NO
Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden) – YES
Andrew Perchlik (D-Washington) – YES
Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) – YES
Kesha Ram (D-Chittenden) – YES
Richard Sears (D-Bennington) – NO
Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) – YES
Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) – NO
Joshua Terenzini (R-Rutland) – NO
Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) – YES
Jeanette White (D-Windham) – NO
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