Friday, April 30, 2010

Curbside vs. the Bottle Bill?

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.

Roger Guzowski

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