Massachusetts' proposed recycling fund may backfire: report
- The Container Recycling Institute has released a report that opposes HB 646 and HB 2880, which are two proposed bill aimed to abandon Massachusetts' bottle deposit program and replace it with a $110 million recycling and litter fund.
- While the proposed fund would save the beverage industry nearly $174 million over the next decade, CRI's report shows that it will cost the state and municipalities a loss of a combined $435 million. Additionally the state's recycling rate would potentially drop, as this bill repeals the deposit program, which is recovering 71% of carbonated beverage containers. HB 646 would also cost redemption centers about 600 jobs.
- Both bills, under consideration with five related pieces of legislation, came after voters opted against expanding the deposit program to include water bottles and non-carbonated beverages.
There has been a move toward solid waste management strategies that expect participation from businesses, consumers, and governments. In keeping with this focus, the proponents of HB 646 are calling on each of these entities for support in maintaining programs to deal with waste efficiently.
"These statutory changes are necessary," say the bill’s sponsors, "to ensure effective solid waste management recovery systems in the Commonwealth including expanded access to and participation in comprehensive recycling programs at home, in public places, and in commercial settings; better recycling promotion and education efforts; incentives for households and businesses to recycle more of their solid waste; and development of comprehensive litter prevention and control programs."
However, this will mean profit for some, and expense for others.
If Massachusetts were to keep its bottle deposit program, it could find ways to increase participation, such as raising the price of a deposited bottle. In Oregon, the bottle deposit is slated to rise from $0.05 to $0.10 in Jan. 2017 if its redemption rate doesn't stay high enough.
- Resource-Recycling Report: Repealing Massachusetts bottle bill hurts state, recycling