Woman Cleans up 7K Mini Liquor Bottles in a Month, Seeks Government Action Against Rampant Littering
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Woman Cleans up 7K Mini Liquor Bottles in a Month, Seeks Government Action Against Rampant Littering

Woman Cleans up 7K Mini Liquor Bottles in a Month, Seeks Government Actions Against Rampant Littering

(Photo: Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo)

In Bristol, Connecticut a woman is fighting against rampant littering. In a city of about 60,000 people, mini liquor bottles have created a nuisance for locals. 

According to NBC Connecticut, Bristol’s Cynthia Chesky said, “I’m finding that the problem is even larger than I thought it was.”

“I decided to keep tally on how many I picked up,” said Chesky. 

The result was in little over a month, she and her husband had bagged nearly 7,000 mini liquor bottles throughout the Bristol area. 

In 2021, Connecticut recognized the problem and initiated a five-cent surcharge for each mini bottle of alcohol sold. The idea was the money would go to local towns and cities where the bottles were sold. Then, the money could be used at local authorities’ discretion for litter control. 

Chesky argued, “the program’s not working well. The ‘nickel-per-nip,’ and our legislation needs to know that this is a serious problem.”

State Rep. Joseph Gresko (D-Stratford), co-chair of the Environment Committee said, “the industry is monitoring that, so the state has no involvement.”

As reported by NBC Connecticut, from Oct. 2021 to Sept. 2022, Bristol earned about $95,000 from the five-cent surcharge program. This was the eighth-highest total in the state. 

Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano reported the city has received around $42,000 so far because the money is paid in multiple installments. 

Mayor Caggiano said the city doesn’t currently have a solution to the problem. Although, they plan to address it at their next public works meeting. 

Rep. Gresko said, “that money needs to be spent on litter control or some sort of environmental purpose.”

Legislation is in the works that would allow the Council on Environmental Quality to monitor how the money is spent according to Gresko.

“We will give them the backup they need so that when they do contact the municipality they’re not hung up on, and we can find out where the money is being spent,” he said.

Chesky would like to see locals have the ability to decide whether mini liquor bottles are allowed to be sold. Gresko offered support for that idea. Until then, it appears locals, like Chesky, are left to clean up the mess themselves. 

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Jessica Gleman is the managing editor of Rum Raiders. She received her Ph.D. at the University College of Dublin in Ireland, where she studied the archaeology of ancient alcohol. Jessica has a passion for the alcohol industry, including agriculture, distillation and mixology. When Jessica is not writing about rum, she is also a travel and food enthusiast who loves going around the world and experiencing various cuisines and cultures. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and expertise and learning even more about this amazing spirit.