James Maroney


James Maroney



June 2, 2021

Expanded Recycling & Anti-Litter Bill Passes State Senate

This October, Connecticut liquor wholesalers will begin collecting a 5-cent surcharge on 50ml “nip” liquor bottles and then turn that money over to cities and towns to fight the widespread litter of these little liquor bottles under a bill passed today in the state Senate. State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) joined the Senate in approving the legislation.

The bill also expands the list of drink bottles requiring a deposit to include hard seltzer and hard cider as well as plant water, juice, juice drinks, tea, coffee, kombucha, plant infused drink, and sports and energy drinks, and it raises the deposit amount on them from 5 cents to 10 cents, beginning January 1, 2024.

“This bill would help encourage people in Connecticut to recycle which helps to sustain a better environment, ” said Sen. Maroney. “Increasing the amount of cans and bottles recycled, increases the revenue earned and put back into our cities and towns.”

Senate Bill 1037, “AN ACT CONCERNING SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT,” passed the Senate on a bipartisan 33-1 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

SB 1037 is the result of a long debate in Connecticut about how to remove plastic and glass bottle litter from our environment, and how to address the popularity of new types of drinks – besides just soda and beer – to include the variety of hard seltzers, hard ciders, sports drinks, and other popular new beverages crowding grocery store aisles and the resulting litter in our environment.

The issue of “nip” litter has been especially troublesome: with no deposit required on them, the tiny liquor bottles have become the focus of local, annual grassroots nip clean-up drives that can collect as many as 50,000 nip bottles in a single day from neighborhood streets, parks, riverbanks, forests, and storm drains.

SB 1037 bill specifically requires that liquor wholesalers who sell nip bottles must pay 5 cents per bottle sold twice a year to the city or town where the nips were sold, with the money to be used by the town specifically for cleaning up any nip bottle trash by – for example – hiring a recycling coordinator, installing storm drain filters, or purchasing a mechanical street sweeper or vacuum to remove nip trash from streets, sidewalks and lawns.

To help address the issue of solid waste management, and to save municipalities money in their waste disposal costs, SB 1037 also directs the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (o begin the in-state processing of no less than 80% of the wine and liquor bottles sold into Connecticut and turn them into furnace-ready cullet (broken glass ready for recycling) to be used in cement, glass and fiberglass products.