Thursday, August 5, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
“For years, I have proposed legislation to close the loophole in the Bottle Bill to promote recycling efforts and help keep our neighborhoods clean. Today, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy took an important step in advancing legislation that will expand the definition of beverage containers to include water bottles and sports drinks.
When the Bottle Bill became law in 1982, no one could have predicted the huge increase in consumption of bottled water and sports drinks. Today, these containers often litter our streets, business districts and parks. This legislation gives us a real opportunity to prevent litter while saving important municipal resources spent on trash collection.
I applaud the Committee for moving this bill forward. I also want to thank East Boston Representative Carlo Basile for working with me on this legislation and for being a strong voice for Boston residents on this Committee. There are countless environmental groups, legislators and communities committed to this issue, and I look forward to continuing our work together to get this bill passed.”
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Too often in the discussion about expanding the bottle bill, I have heard references to curbside recycling, either that the bottle bill will hurt curbside recycling (which we have already chatted about and I don't want to re-hash here), or that we don't need the bottle bill because we have curbside recycling and can just improve that.
In response to that myth, I would urge all of you to look at the 2008 DEP solid waste generation figures just released. Only 40% of the MSW in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is generated from Residential sources. Let me repeat that. Over half and almost 2/3 of the MSW generated in Massachusetts is from non-residential sources. Thus, even if you perfectly captured bottles and cans from curbside collection programs, and at the risk of offending some of you, I would argue that none of you are doing that and many are not even close, you would still only be doing so for only 40% of the MSW waste stream.
Saying we don't need the bottle bill because we have improved curbside collection is in my opinion makes almost as little sense as me suggesting that I don't need vitamin B, C, or E because I am getting plenty of calcium.
I think the bottle bill has been the most effective way to recycle bottles & cans since it's inception, and I think it is time that we allow this tool to be used for all of the new specialty beverage bottles that have been developed since the original bottle bill was first passed.
My two cents worth.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Letter to the Editor of the Carlisle Mosquito
Thank you to the organizers and sponsors of the 2010 Mosquito Trash Party. As a first-year participant, I found it a satisfying and surprising experience.
Having surveyed the litterscape while walking to Trash Party Central, I was confident one bag would be plenty for my trash mile. I was wrong. That lone bag was stuffed to overflowing by the time I finished.
Fifteen minutes along my Trash Party trail, the value of trash as an archeological treasure trove was clear. The haul from this grimy pursuit was type-consistent. Aside from the odd, sodden t-shirt (Men’s, X Large), and a trash lid most likely flipped from its container during its trip to or from the Transfer Station, the bulk of items fell into one category: beverage containers. The containers consisted of a variety of plastic bottles (recyclable, non-redeemable) and aluminum beer cans (redeemable or recyclable). Virtually all of these finds were in the vacant spaces between homes, suggesting the litterers were just passing through and showing their respect by not throwing their trash onto our lawns. The story of this roadside trash is one of abundance and a disposable culture.
It’s ironic that while some are urging legislation to “Drill, baby, drill” for oil, plastic bottles are made of PET which is 99% petroleum. Over 1 billion containers a year are littered or thrown into incinerators or landfills in Massachusetts alone. It’s estimated that the energy used to replace the 134 billion discarded beverage containers in the US in 2005 is equivalent to 50 million barrels of crude oil. While a nickel deposit isn’t worth some peoples’ while even in down times, the aluminum in those beer cans, as well as PET plastic, are two of the more highly valued recyclable stocks.
Passing an update to the 1982 Bottle Bill to include contemporary containers and switching to reusable, non-BPA bottles are steps in the right direction for dealing with this problem. Short of those measures, we need to diligently redeem or recycle what we use. Don’t let valuable, finite resources go up in Wheelabrator smoke. Please.
Carlisle Sierra Club Committee, Chair
Member of Carlisle Household Recycling Committee