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April 30, 2011

Kennebec Journal
Letter to the Editor

L.D. 1210 addresses small part of bottle bill

L.D. 1210 unfortunately has been lumped into a handful of bills related to Maine's bottle bill, and most people seem to think it has something to do with rolling back or eliminating the way Maine recycles bottles. It does not.

L.D. 1210 inserts a single phrase into already-existing law, and its sole intent is to correct a regulatory glitch that hurts small business.

All of Maine's large distributors are exempt from paying a monthly fee because they belong to so-called "co-mingling" recycling groups. Small Maine distributors (even though they recycle as aggressively as their larger competitors) cannot join these groups and so have to pay up to $30,000 a year to Maine Revenue. That fee represents a significant burden that threatens their ability to retain employees, create new jobs and/or pay for health insurance.

L.D. 1210 asks one question: If small businesses are the backbone of Maine's economy, why are they saddled with an expense the big guys don't have to pay? It is a citizen-initiated, not lobbyist-sponsored, bill.

Nothing about L.D. 1210 changes in any way how the bottle bill operates: Deposits still will be collected, redemption centers still will operate, and distributors still will shoulder the cost of recycling.

All that L.D.1210 does is level the playing field for all distributors; it's about fairness, not litter.

Tammy Lacher Scully

Easterly Wine LLC



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