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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 123.  AN ACT RELATING TO REQUIRING BEVERAGE CONTAINER MANUFACTURERS TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL      ONE-HALF CENT PER CONTAINER TO RETAILERS WHO DO NOT COMMINGLE CONTAINERS.

(H.574)

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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1522a is added to read:

§ 1522a.  Rules

The secretary may adopt rules, in accordance with chapter 25 of Title 3, necessary for the administration of this chapter.  These rules may include the following:

(1)  provisions to ensure that beverage containers not labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title are not redeemed;

(2)  provisions to ensure that beverage containers are commingled;

(3)  administrative penalties for the failure by a redemption center or retailer to remove beverage containers that are not labeled prior to pickup by a distributor or manufacturer.  Penalties may include nonpayment of the deposit and handling fee established under section 1522 of this title for a reasonable period of time and for the number of beverage containers that were not labeled;

(4)  any other provision that may be necessary for the implementation of this chapter.


Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1522(b) and (c) 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 three and one-half cents per container for containers of beverage brands that are part of a commingling program and four cents per container for containers of beverage brands that are not part of a commingling program.

(c)  The secretary may adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this chapter.

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:

(1)  A retailer shall not refuse to accept from any person any empty beverage containers, labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title, of the kind, size, and brand sold by the retailer, or refuse to pay to that person the refund value of a beverage container as established by section 1522 of this title, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(2)  A manufacturer or distributor may not refuse to accept pick up from a retailer that sells its product or a person operating a certified redemption center any empty beverage containers, labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title, 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.

(b)  A retailer, with the prior approval of the secretary, may refuse to redeem beverage containers if a redemption center or centers are established which serve the public need.

(c)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center may refuse to redeem beverage containers that are not clean, or are broken, or were not purchased in Vermont and shall not redeem beverage containers that are not labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title.

(d)  A retailer or group of retailers may petition the secretary for the establishment of a redemption center.

(e)  The secretary shall notify the public regarding the petition. The secretary, after determination of need and service to be provided by the proposed redemption center, shall issue 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. §§ 1528 and 1529 are added to read:

§ 1528.  Beverage registration

No distributor or manufacturer shall sell a beverage container in the state of Vermont without the manufacturer registering the beverage container with the agency of natural resources prior to sale, unless distributed by the department of liquor control.  This registration shall take place on a form provided by the secretary and include the following:

(1)  The name and principal business address of the manufacturer;

(2)  The name of the beverage and the container size;

(3)  Whether the beverage is a part of an approved commingling agreement; and

(4)  The name of the person picking up the empty beverage container, if that person is different from the manufacturer.

§ 1529.  Redemption center certification

A person operating a redemption center may obtain a certification from the secretary.  A redemption center certification shall include the following:

(1)  Specification of the name and location of the facility;

(2)  If the certified redemption center redeems more than 250,000 containers per year, a requirement that the certified redemption center shall participate in an approved commingling agreement; and

(3)  Additional conditions, requirements, and restrictions as the secretary may deem necessary to implement the requirements of this chapter.  This may include requirements concerning reporting, recording, and inspections of the operation of the site.

Sec. 5COMMINGLING AND AUDIT PILOT PROGRAM

(a)  The secretary of natural resources may implement, by procedure, requirements for the commingling of beverage containers from differing manufacturers and auditing for compliance with these requirements.  This commingling program may include provisions establishing administrative penalties for the failure by a redemption center or retailer to remove containers that are not labeled prior to their pickup by a distributer or manufacturer.  Penalties may include nonpayment of the deposit and handling fee established under section 1522 of Title 10 for a reasonable period of time and for the number of containers that were not labeled.

(b)  The pilot program established by this section shall expire on July 1, 2010.

Sec. 6.  REPORT ON COMMINGLING PROGRAM

By no later than January 15, 2010, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the committees on natural resources and energy with regard to:

(1)  the implementation of the commingling program established by this act;

(2)  the implementation of the auditing program established by this act; and

(3)  the results of a redemption center survey regarding whether the commingling program has achieved cost efficiencies.

Approved:  May 8, 2008



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us