Introduced by Representative Pillsbury of Brattleboro
Subject: Conservation; bottle bill; escheat; juice; water
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to increase the refunded beverage container handler’s fee to 3.5 cents per container. It proposes to provide that beverage container deposits that are not collected shall be paid into the solid waste management assistance fund.
AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER HANDLER’S FEE AND PROVIDING THAT UNCLAIMED BEVERAGE CONTAINER DEPOSITS SHALL BE PAID INTO THE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE FUND
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1522 is amended to read:
§ 1522. BEVERAGE CONTAINERS; DEPOSIT
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(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 five cents per
container or twenty 20 percent of the amount of the deposit
returned to the consumer.
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(e) The deposit established by subsection (a) of this section is the property of the consumer who purchases a beverage container. The deposit is held in trust by the manufacturer or distributor for the consumer or for the state if the deposit is abandoned by the consumer.
(f) Each distributor and manufacturer shall maintain an escrow account, known as the deposit transaction account, for the collection and distribution of beverage container deposits collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Funds deposited in the deposit transaction account may not be used for any purpose not expressly authorized by this chapter.
Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 1528 is added to read:
§ 1528. ABANDONED DEPOSITS; REPORTS AND PAYMENTS
Deposits are presumed to be abandoned when retained by a manufacturer or distributor for 90 days after being collected during any three-month period ending on the last day of March, June, September, or December, the 90 days commencing to run at the end of the period during which a deposit is collected. Initiators of deposits pursuant to subsection 1522(a) of this title must report deposit‑related activity and disburse abandoned deposits in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(1) Reports. Each manufacturer or distributor must report to the secretary on or before the 20th day of June, September, December, and March the total amount of deposits paid to, refunds paid from, and income earned on its deposit transaction account for the previous three-month period ending the last day of March, June, September, or December.
(2) Abandoned deposits. On or before the 20th day of June, September, December, and March each manufacturer or distributor shall remit to the secretary the total amount of abandoned deposits collected during the previous three-month period ending on the last day of March, June, September, or December.
(3) Disbursements. The secretary shall deposit all abandoned deposits in the solid waste management assistance account of the waste management assistance fund established by section 6618 of this title.
(4) Reimbursements. When a deposit initiator pays out more in refund values than it collects in deposits during the course of a calendar year, the deposit initiator may apply to the state treasurer for a reimbursement from the solid waste management assistance fund in an amount equal to the amount of over-redeemed deposits. The treasurer shall reimburse documented claims of over-redeemed deposits.
Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. § 6618 is amended to read:
§ 6618. Waste management assistance fund
is hereby created in the state treasury a fund to be known as the waste
management assistance fund
, to be expended by the secretary of the
agency of natural resources. The fund shall have two accounts: one for solid
waste management assistance and one for hazardous waste management assistance. The
hazardous waste management assistance account shall consist of a percentage of
the tax on hazardous waste under the provisions of
32 V.S.A. chapter 237, as
established by the secretary, the toxics use reduction fees under subsection
6628(j) of this title, and appropriations of the general assembly. In no event
shall the amount of the hazardous waste tax which is deposited to the hazardous
waste management assistance account exceed 40 percent of the annual tax
receipts. The solid waste management assistance account shall consist of the
franchise tax on waste facilities assessed under the provisions of subchapter
13 of chapter 151 of 32 V.S.A.
chapter 151, subchapter 13, abandoned
deposits remitted to the secretary under the provisions of section 1528 of this
title, and appropriations of the general assembly. All balances in the
fund accounts at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain
a part of the fund accounts. Interest earned by the fund shall be deposited
into the appropriate fund account. Disbursements from the fund accounts shall
be made by the state treasurer on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance
(b) The secretary, subject to the limitations established in subsection (e) of this section regarding disbursements of monies collected by means of abandoned beverage containers deposits, may authorize disbursements from the solid waste management assistance account for the purpose of enhancing solid waste management in the state in accordance with the adopted waste management plan. This includes:
(1) the costs of implementation planning, design, obtaining permits, construction and operation of state or regional facilities for the processing of recyclable materials and of waste materials that because of their nature or composition create particular or unique environmental, health, safety or management problems at treatment or disposal facilities;
(2) the costs of assessing existing landfills, and eligible costs for closure and any necessary steps to protect public health at landfills certified or operating after December 31, 1979 and before January 1, 1987, provided those costs are the responsibility of the municipality or solid waste management district requesting assistance;
(3) the costs of preparing the state waste management plan;
(4) hazardous waste pilot projects consistent with this chapter;
costs of developing markets for recyclable material
; and assisting Vermont
businesses to create in-state, end-use markets for recycled materials collected
(6) the costs of the agency of natural resources in administering solid waste management functions that may be supported by the fund established in subsection (a) of this section;
(7) the costs of administering the waste facility panel established under subchapter 5 of chapter 151 of this title;
(8) the costs, not related directly to capital construction projects, that are incurred by a district, or a municipality that is not a member of a district, in the design and permitting of implementation programs included in the adopted solid waste implementation plan of the district or of the municipality that is not a member of a district. These disbursements shall be issued in the form of advances requiring repayment. These advances shall bear interest at an annual rate equal to the interest rate which the state pays on its bonds. These advances shall be repaid in full by the grantee no later than 24 months after the advance is awarded.
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(e) All monies deposited in the solid waste management assistance fund pursuant to the provisions of section 1528 of this title, regarding abandoned beverage container deposits, shall be disbursed according to the provisions of this subsection, except for those monies disbursed for purposes of reimbursement under subdivision 1528(4). The secretary shall authorize disbursement of 50 percent of these funds for the purposes of local, regional, and solid waste management district programs that implement recycling or source reduction, and 50 percent for the purposes of developing markets for recyclable materials and assisting Vermont businesses to create in-state, end‑use markets for recycled materials collected in Vermont.
Sec. 4. ANNUAL REPORT
Annually, by no later than December 15, the agency of natural resources in consultation with the agency of development and community affairs shall submit to the general assembly a report analyzing the effectiveness of this act. This report shall be submitted to the chairs of the legislative committees on Natural Resources and Energy, Commerce, Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Finance.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street