AUGUSTA – A legislative panel is supporting a bill that would create a used-battery collection and recycling program funded by manufacturers that would allow consumers to discard batteries at participating retail stores.

The proposal is part of an ambitious waste reform bill being reviewed by the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The panel also supports changing the way cities and towns are charged for dumping waste in landfills. The new fee structure would not raise additional money, but would eliminate discounts and establish a flat rate.

The panel rejected a proposal to require food manufacturers, restaurants and institutions that generate more than a ton of food waste per week to send that waste to composting facilities.

The panel is expected to take a final vote on Wednesday.

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