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    Local News
    Monday, April 15, 2024

    Montville uses fund to ‘nip’ litter

    Montville ― Nip bottles, those small, often empty plastic bottles of booze, are everywhere.

    Beginning in October 2021, the state added a 5 cent surcharge to every nip bottle sold in an effort to combat the growing litter problem. Every April and October, distributors are required to pay those funds back to each municipality where the bottles were sold.

    The town’s Conservation Commission has an idea of what to do with its nearly $40,000 in “nip funds.”

    The chair of the commission, Nick Sabilia, penned a letter to the Town Council earlier this week to create a program in which nonprofit groups in town could apply to clean up a road, or stretch of road, and receive a portion of the funds in return for its efforts.

    The law requires the towns receiving the funds to use them for environmental efforts to reduce either the amount of solid waste generated in town or the impact of litter, with this proposal addressing the latter.

    “Litter along the roads is one of the biggest concerns brought up by Montville residents and it is about time the town addressed it in a more significant manner,” Sabilia wrote to the council. “The creation of this roadside trash cleanup program will simultaneously help local nonprofits, as well as aid in beautifying our town.

    The town has received a total of $38,933.84, which means 778,676 nips were sold between Oct. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022 in the town’s handful of liquor stores. Towns across the state amassed $4.2 million in nip surcharge funds.

    Document

    $100,925

    By the bottle

    $100K

    Connecticut residents pay a 5-cent surcharge for every tiny bottle of alcohol, called nips, they buy. The money goes back to the towns where the nips were sold to help fund environmental efforts.

    $76,689

    $80K

    $62,212

    $60K

    The figures shown were collected in each town between Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022.

    $40K

    $32,611

    $26,230

    $25,666

    $23,519

    $20K

    $10,123

    $7,565

    $7,319

    New London

    East Lyme

    Norwich

    Old Lyme

    Salem

    Stonington

    Preston

    Groton

    Waterford

    Ledyard

    Graphic by Scott Ritter/The Day | Data: Department of Revenue Services and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut

    $100,925

    By the bottle

    $100K

    Connecticut residents pay a 5-cent surcharge for every tiny bottle of alcohol, called nips, they buy. The money goes back to the towns where the nips were sold to help fund environmental efforts.

    $76,689

    $80K

    $62,212

    $60K

    $40K

    $32,611

    $26,230

    $25,666

    $23,519

    $20K

    $10,123

    $7,565

    $7,319

    New London

    Groton

    Norwich

    Old Lyme

    Stonington

    Waterford

    East Lyme

    Preston

    Salem

    Ledyard

    Graphic by Scott Ritter/The Day | Data: Department of Revenue Services and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut

    The figures shown were collected in each town between Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022.

    By the bottle

    Connecticut residents pay a 5-cent surcharge for every tiny bottle of alcohol, called nips, they buy.

    $100,925

    $100K

    $76,689

    $80K

    $62,212

    $60K

    $40K

    $32,611

    $26,230

    $25,666

    $23,519

    $20K

    $10,123

    $7,565

    $7,319

    Old Lyme

    Salem

    East Lyme

    Groton

    New London

    Norwich

    Preston

    Stonington

    Waterford

    Ledyard

    The figures shown were collected in each town between Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022.

    Graphic by Scott Ritter/The Day | Data: Department of Revenue Services and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut

    Sabilia said the money could be used to pay a youth organization $500 after either filling five garbage bags or after working for five hours.

    While the specifics of the program, including payments, have yet to be determined, Town Councilor Tim May, council liaison to the Conservation Commission, said the council agrees that this is a good idea.

    “I’d like to show the townspeople that we are looking to clean up the nip-bottle plight we have,” May said Thursday.

    Council Chair Tom McNally briefly addressed Sabilia’s email at Monday night’s meeting and said he would send the proposal to the public works and finance departments for review before the council acts on it.

    The proposal indicates funds can be used to purchase garbage bags, safety vests, trash grabbers, as well as fund a police presence to protect volunteers working on potentially dangerous roads.

    May, who said he spoke with State Rep. Kevin Ryan, D-Montville three years ago about the growing nip-bottle issue, called the issue a pet peeve of his and urged the commission to come up with a creative solution.

    Sabilia said he often walks and bikes around town and it’s “disgusting” how much litter he sees. He hopes this initiative will educate people about the litter problem and make them reconsider the often mindless act of throwing garbage out their car window.

    “It just seemed like a really logical solution to multiple problems ― funding for local groups and addressing the litter issue,” Sabilia said.

    k.arnold@theday.com

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