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NO. 128.  AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER HANDLER’S FEE AND AN ONGOING EVALUATION OF THE BOTTLE REDEMPTION SYSTEM.

(S.106)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1521 is amended to read:

§ 1521.  DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this chapter:

* * *

(8)  “Refillable” means a beverage container which can be refilled at least five times and is so certified by type by the secretary.

(9)  “Secretary” means the secretary of the agency of natural resources.

(10)(9)  “Mixed wine drink” means a beverage containing wine and more than 15 percent added plain, carbonated or sparkling water; and which contains added natural or artificial blended material, such as fruit juices, flavors, flavoring, adjuncts, coloring or preservatives; which contains not more than 16 percent alcohol by volume; or other similar product marketed as a wine cooler.

(11)(10)  “Liquor” means spirits as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1522(b) and (d) are amended to read:

(b)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center who redeems beverage containers shall be reimbursed by the manufacturer or distributor of such beverage containers in an amount which is at least the greater of two cents per container or 20 percent of the amount of the deposit returned to the consumer three and one-half cents per container.

(d)  The secretary shall prepare and print suitable posters for sale, at cost, to persons who wish to post the hours during which containers will be redeemed at their places of business.  Containers shall be redeemed during no fewer than 40 hours per week during the regular operating hours of the establishment.  The poster shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS

In accordance with the provisions of section 1523(a) of Title 10, Vermont Statutes Annotated, this store will redeem clean beverage containers during the following 40 or more hours of each week:

Monday _____________________________________________________

Tuesday _____________________________________________________   

Wednesday ___________________________________________________

Thursday _____________________________________________________

Friday _______________________________________________________

 Saturday _____________________________________________________

Sunday_______________________________________________________

                                                                      (Name of store or establishment)

                                                                      (Operator, manager, or owner)

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1523 is amended to read:

§ 1523.  ACCEPTANCE OF BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

(a)  Except as provided in section 1522 of this title:

* * *

(2)  A manufacturer or distributor may not refuse to accept from a retailer that sells its product or a person operating a certified redemption center any empty beverage containers of the kind, size and brand sold by the manufacturer or distributor, or refuse to pay the retailer or a person operating a redemption center the refund value of a beverage container as established by section 1522 of this title.

* * *

(c)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center may refuse to redeem beverage containers which that are not clean or which are broken, or were not purchased in Vermont.

* * *

(e)  The secretary shall, upon due notice to notify the public and other affected parties, hold a public hearing upon regarding the petition.  After investigation and hearing, the The secretary, after determination of need and service to be provided by the establishment of a proposed redemption center, shall issue his order a certification authorizing the distributors or retailers affected and servicing the community or area involved to establish a redemption center or alternate method of redemption, or shall deny the petition if found adverse to the public need.

(f)  The secretary shall not certify a new redemption center from July 1, 2006 through July 1, 2007 unless the area is currently underserved.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 1525 is amended to read:

§ 1525.  PROHIBITIONS

* * *

(b)  No beverage, as defined in subdivision (1) of section 1521 of this chapter, other than liquor, shall be sold or offered for sale at retail in this state in a glass beverage container which has not been certified as refillable by the secretary.

(c)  The secretary of natural resources may exempt specific products from subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section for so long as existing technology does not permit compliance for those products.

(c)  No distributor shall sell or offer for sale in this state a brand of beverage in a beverage container labeled as provided in subsection (a) of this section if that distributor sells that beverage container containing that brand in a state that does not have a deposit-redemption system similar to the one established by this chapter and that is adjacent to this state.  A distributor that violates this subsection is prohibited from selling or offering those beverages for sale in this state until the violation is corrected.

(d)  No person shall knowingly attempt to redeem a container to a retailer or a redemption center for deposit return if that container was purchased outside this state.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 1524(d) (relating to sale of beverages with required labels) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  BOTTLE BILL STUDY AND REPORT

(a)  The secretary of natural resources with the cooperation and assistance of interested parties, including representatives of distributors, retailers, stand alone redemption centers, beverage retailers with redemption centers, beverage manufacturers, environmental protection organizations, solid waste districts, the solid waste industry and the department of liquor control shall make recommendations to the senate committee on finance, the house committee on ways and means and the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy.  The secretary shall propose specific recommendations to improve further the beverage container deposit-redemption system established by chapter 53 of Title 10.  The evaluation and recommendations shall address at least the following issues:

(1)  on or before January 15, 2007:

(A)  a review of the handling fee system and the associated costs and revenues;

(B)  the feasibility of instituting a two-tiered fee based on co-mingling agreements;

(C)  the costs and benefits of the deposit-redemption system;

(D)  the disposition of unredeemed deposits collected on beverage containers;

(2)  and on or before January 15, 2008:

(A)  the scope of beverage containers to be included under the bottle bill.

Approved:  May 3, 2006



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us