BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Advocates say 77 percent of the public supports an updated bottle bill in Massachusetts. By tacking on a 5-cent refundable deposit to an expanded list of drink containers, like water and juices, bottle bill supporters say more people will recycle and cities and towns will save on clean up costs.
“When you look out on the parks and the beaches or the streets around the Commonwealth and you see bottles, three out of four of them do not have a deposit on it. The most effective way to increase the recycling efforts is to pass the bottle bill,” said Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan.
And the state Legislature is close to passing it. Last week the Senate approved the bill and Governor Deval Patrick has repeatedly said he’d sign it.
“It’s no secret to the Speaker or anybody else that I think updating the bottle bill is good policy,” said Patrick.
But House Speaker Robert DeLeo is against imposing anything that resembles a tax or a fee on consumers. And retailers who are required to collect recycled bottles from consumers under the bill say it will add $58 million annually to their operation costs.
“That just doesn’t make sense. It costs 4 to 5 times the amount of money to separate your trash through a bottle deposit system than it does to build up the municipal recycling infrastructure,” said Chris Flynn, the president of the Massachusetts Food Association.
Currently lawmakers are working on consolidating a jobs bill that includes the bottle bill as an attachment, and even though there’s a lot of support for it, lawmakers say it is unlikely to survive in the final version of the jobs bill.
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