New Milford City Council Approves Recycling Initiative

NEW MILFORD — With a 5-2 vote, city council members have approved a proposal to use up to $30,000 in a recycling initiative involving nip (alcohol) bottle deposit funds, with the goal of to clean up the waste.

New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said the state legislature passed a five-cent pinch bottle deposit law with the funds to go to cities to help clean up trash. Nip bottles are typically around 1.7 ounces and contain 50 milliliters, or a 1.5 ounce shot, of alcohol.

New Milford received $14,000 in the first round of funding, and Bass previously sought advice from the city’s recycling committee on how best to use the money following state guidelines.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Bass said this particular pinch bottle funding is a mandatory non-refundable deposit and that this program is used to help get rid of certain plastics and litter that line roads and streets. city ​​rivers. Councilman Paul Murphy mentioned at a previous meeting that he picked up 568 bottles of nip on Aspetuck Road alone on the town’s last garbage day.

Bass said New Milford Recycling Center owner Bob Hanna suggested starting the program in phases, with the first phase focusing on homeowners and giving them a $20 coupon. With every bulky junk they bring to the New Milford Recycling Center, residents could get rid of their items for $20 less than what they would typically be charged.

While Bass admitted to wondering how far they could go with $20 off an item, Hanna one person could return couches, mattresses, fridges, freezers, air conditioners, washers, dryers and freon items — all of which, he said, “would qualify for this program for free up to $20.”

A refrigerator that would normally cost $35 to remove would cost up to $15 with this program; washers and dryers would be free since they are usually charged $10 each to be removed.

Regarding pinch bottle recycling, Hanna said any bottle less than two inches in diameter falls into the machines at the recycling center; this means that they cannot be recycled and become waste. Plastic bottles go in the bin at the recycling center while glass bottles are separated and placed in a container for recycling. The container goes to a Naugatuck company that crushes all the glass and sets it into concrete.

“We have residents, God bless them, who really take recycling to heart,” Bass said, adding that the recycling center will provide bags for residents to use to recycle pinch bottles they pick up on the streets. roads and rivers.

Bass said the city is implementing the program in phases because “there are 11,000 households in New Milford, so to make sure the funding is right, we’re going to start with primary residences first and see how much the use”.

The second phase will include the city’s rental condo properties and the third phase will be the multi-family units. For now, Bass said they’re starting with owners until they figure out who’s using the program.

Hanna said the recycling center offers a pickup service and schedules pickups for people to bring their items to the center. He said the recycling center will offer pickup services for the program at a reduced price.

“We just ask for everything to be outside or we can just back our truck up,” Hanna said.

Councilor Alexandra Thomas asked if people could bring their items to the recycling center if they didn’t have a recycling center sticker on their car. In response, Hanna said the program was “stickerless”.

Additionally, Hanna said it would be an email program that allows users to fill out a form for items they want to get rid of on the recycling center’s website.

While some city councilors have expressed support for the program, others have shared concerns about whether it’s a good fit with the funding the city has received from the state.

“I think it’s a great idea for a once a year thing for residents who need it,” Councilor Hilary Ram said. “However, I have read the legislation carefully…Under the bill liquor vendors are charged five cents for pinch bottles and I think the narrow intent of the bill is that the funding goes to municipalities to be used specifically for environmental issues, more specifically to keep these bottles out of waterways I don’t think it’s going to do much for that.

Councilor Chris Cosgrove said, “It’s about cleaning up the environment, and it’s clearly helping to clean up our cities environmentally. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that and it’s an annual thing, so in terms of proposals that I think are in front of us, that are reasonable, that we can do…I would support this one- this.

The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 2. Councilors Cosgrove, Sal Rynkiewicz, Paul Murphy and Mary Jane Lundgren voted in favor of the proposal while Ram and Thomas voted against.

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