North Quabbin Briefs

Published: 3/19/2020 7:03:47 PM
Modified: 3/19/2020 7:03:36 PM
Market Basket launches senior shopping hours

Starting today, Market Basket will initiate senior shopping hours specifically geared to accommodate the needs of its customers 60 and older.

Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. the stores will be open only to serve customers 60 and older.

This change is designed to enable these members of our community who are at greater risk with the coronavirus to shop in a less crowded environment, which enables social distancing.

“Our associates really wanted to do this to serve many of our customers who are worried about their health,” said Joe Schmidt, supervisor of operations, in a prepared statement. “We are proud of how hard the team is working to serve all of our customers and address their needs. This will mean longer hours for them but everyone is willing.”

State suspends bottle redemption enforcement

Out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of COVID-19, the state Department of Environmental Protection and Attorney General’s Office are suspending enforcement of the requirements for retailers to accept beverage containers that have a deposit, effective immediately until further notice or until the current state of emergency is terminated.

This action is being taken because many grocers, supermarkets, and other retail operations have indicated that they are overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of customers purchasing provisions so they can spend time at home to help in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Temporarily suspending enforcement of these requirements will allow individual retailers to assess their operations and, if necessary and appropriate, shift staffing to enable smoother operations. This action will also limit any contamination that potentially could occur from staff handling used beverage containers.

Consumers are encouraged to hold on to their deposit containers for redemption at a later date or to recycle those containers with existing household recycling.

MassDEP and the Attorney’s General Office will assess the situation on an ongoing basis and notify grocers, supermarkets, and other retailers when redemption services must resume and the temporary enforcement suspension ends.

Under state regulations, retailers are usually required to accept for redemption all containers of the same size, type and brand they sell to the public that carry the five-cent deposit and, without the suspension announced today, failures to redeem those containers can subject retailers to enforcement and potential penalties under the statute.

MassDEP’s Bottle Bill Hotline is available at 617-556-1054 for questions and information requests.


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