Uncollected Bottle Deposits Will Now Help Fund Vermont's Clean Water Programs

Jun 1, 2018

Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill into law that redistributes several million dollars from the state's uncollected bottle deposit fund into clean water programs.

Currently, the money is returned to the beverage industry.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group executive director Paul Burns said it makes much more sense to use these funds for important state programs.

"So the question is should that money go to beverage manufacturers or distributors, or should it go to the state?" said Burns.

"The need is great for money and resources to be devoted to clean water. This is an environmental program that can help to contribute some money to that cause." — VPIRG executive director Paul Burns

Burns said every year the state sees between $2 million and $3 million in uncollected deposits in the fund.  He said there's no question the Clean Water Fund is in desperate need of new funds.

"The need is great for money and resources to be devoted to clean water,” said Burns. “This is an environmental program that can help to contribute some money to that cause." 

Burns said about 75 percent of the containers covered by the law are currently returned or recycled, and he hopes this figure will increase under the new law.