Jamaica to vote on bottle recycling article

JAMAICA -- Enough signatures have been collected to add a special item on the Town Meeting warning pertaining to legislation on bottle recycling.

The article will ask: "Shall the town of Jamaica vote to urge the General Assembly of Vermont to pass legislation to expand the Bottle Bill to cover additional beverages to increase recycling and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to authorize the state to begin collecting unclaimed deposits currently going to the beverage industry, to be used to help fund recycling and other important state programs?"

That petition was initiated by Vermont Public Interest Research Group or VPIRG, which is a non-profit organization that promotes environmental stewardship. It hopes to expand the Bottle Bill.

There had been talk at Windham Solid Waste District meetings that the proposed bill could potentially hurt the district because instead of going towards the district's revenue stream, the money would go into the redemption center stream.

Selectboard member and district representative Lou Bruso said the bill will make any sized water bottle worth a nickel deposit.

"But you get that back if you take it to recycling," he added. "The problem is those bottles we get as part of our stream now are very valuable. They are one of the more valuable commodities."

That would reduce the amount of revenue within the district because other commodities aren't as valuable.

On Jan. 30, the district ultimately decided not to take a position on the bill, which legislators will vote to either keep, enhance or repeal. Residents in Jamaica will decide whether the town should write its own recommendation to the Legislature concerning the bill.


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