If you live in Connecticut by the border of New York or Massachusetts, are you tired of waiting behind someone with NY or Mass plates returning thousands of empties?

Photo by Mrs. Large
Photo by Mrs. Large

As of January 1, 2024, Connecticut retailers now charge a ten cent deposit on most beverage containers. New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont all charge five cents. Here we are almost at the six month mark after Connecticut's bottle deposit increase, and I've recently read numerous complaints from Danbury, Stamford, and Enfield residents complaining about illegal border-jumping bottle returners clogging up the machines in their city Kramer and Newman-Style. Remember that episode of Seinfeld?

You're lucky Eastern Connecticut, you are near Rhode Island, they don't have a bottle deposit, yet. Danbury and Enfield residents are getting steamed at the hundreds of pounds of cans and bottles that folks are illegally doubling their deposit money on.

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Connecticut lawmakers have already tried to address this problem, Governor Lamont signed Senate Bill 293 into law on 5-9-24. It bans beverage containers purchased out of state from Connecticut redemption machines and centers, warning of fines of $50 or $100 if caught. It hasn't appeared to have slowed the flow of bottle returners with orange and black, or red and white license plates in Danbury and Enfield.

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave

How has the increase in Connecticut's bottle deposit been going in it's first six months? Pretty well, actually. According to Hartfordbusiness.com, bottle and can recycling is up 15%, from an overall 50% recycling rate to 65%. Could we chalk up that 15% to Newman and Kramer clones? Maybe.

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