Every six months, I suck it up and do the dreaded task: redeeming my family’s bottles and cans. Don’t get me wrong, I love to recycle (seriously, who doesn’t?) but I don’t love sitting in my truck with my 4-year-old and pup for up to two hours while we wait in line for all the other good-hearted folks ahead of us redeeming their bottles and cans, too.

It wasn’t always this way. It used to be a quick, no-trouble chore, back before redemption centers started having financial difficulties keeping their doors open. Living in a rural part of the state, there are not a whole lot of redemption options to begin with, and now options are withering with redemption center closures. Since rural Mainers is not immune to the rapidly rising cost of living in our country, our redemption centers have been struggling.

I am hugely grateful to Sen. Jeff Timberlake for co-sponsoring L.D. 1909: An Act to Modernize Maine’s Beverage Container Redemption Law. Because of him, the passage of this bill will not only streamline the sorting process, allowing more customers to flow through the centers and decrease the dreaded logjam of waiting in line for hours, but it will also keep money in Maine and out of corporate pockets by way of an estimated $16.7 million per year in consumer funds that will be used to maintain and improve the Bottle Bill program or support other beneficial public programs.

For 45 years, Maine’s Bottle Bill (Beverage Container Redemption Program) has been the state’s most successful recycling and litter-prevention program. This bill (L.D. 1909) will modernize the Bottle Bill to make it more efficient and ensure its success well into the future.

Thank you, Sen. Timberlake, for working to keep this successful program alive and thriving.


Ari O’Neill


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