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November 21, 2023

CT towns, cities receive a nickel for every nip sold. See which ones recently got the biggest payouts

Jacob Munk-Stander from Copenhagen, Denmark, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Bombay Sapphire 'nip' bottles.
Click below to see how much money towns and cities received.
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The “nickel-per-nip '' program, which reimburses towns and cities 5 cents for the sale of each 50 milliliter container of alcohol sold in their community, recently sent $2.36 million to municipalities across Connecticut.

Since its inception two years ago, the program has contributed $8.9 million to Connecticut towns and cities.

“Nickel-per-nip” was created under a state law passed in 2021 that adds a nickel surcharge to the sale of each nip container when it is sold to a customer. 

Every April and October, each municipality receives 5 cents for each nip sold within its borders during the preceding six months.

“Studies show that most litter from nips happens very close to where the containers are purchased,” said Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., president and treasurer of Three Tiers for Connecticut and executive director of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut Inc. “In just two years, this local solution has become a national model.”

Cafero said the program is effective because it allows local governments to determine how the program fees are spent, and the state government does not take a percentage.

Towns like South Windsor, Ellington and Ridgefield have used the funds to help pay for recycling coordinators. 

Other towns are using the money for litter collection and cleanups with local nonprofits, to support food scrap recycling programs and to purchase or lease street sweepers.

Between Oct. 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, New Haven sold the most nips in the state – a total of 2.1 million, which led to a $104,580 payment to Elm City. Since the program began in 2021, New Haven has received $410,270.

Hartford consumers purchased the second-highest number of nips (1.63 million) during the recent period, resulting in a payment of $81,422 to the city. Hartford has received a total of $295,607 since the program began.

Bridgeport ranked third, with 1.59 million nips sold between Oct. 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, followed by Waterbury (1.45 million), New Britain (1.29 million), Manchester (1.27 million) and Norwich (1.18 million).

Three Tiers for Connecticut, which supported the legislation that created “nickel-per-nip,” was formed in 2019 and is a nonprofit representing all of the major wine and spirits wholesalers in Connecticut, as well as suppliers and retailers.

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