Thursday, December 15, 2011
Expansion of Massachusetts’ bottle bill could create as many as 500 jobs in Massachusetts, according to a new study by the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) called, “Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers.” Several studies on jobs and recycling have been released this year, and they all show recycling to be an area of jobs growth even during these difficult times. This study is different because it looks specifically at US jobs related to beverage container recycling. The study authors also created a user-friendly jobs calculator, which is available on CRI’s web site (www.container-recycling.org).
A bill to update the state’s current container deposit law has been proposed by Rep. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge) and Sen. Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), and has wide support from the public and in the state legislature. The bill would add water, sports drinks like Gatorade, and juices to the existing law.
“The Bottle Bill’s ability to vastly decrease litter and increase recycling is well-known and documented,” said James McCaffrey, Director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “The added benefit of increased jobs should provide our state legislators to swiftly enact this badly needed bill.”
This report completely dispels any fears of job losses, said Janet Domenitz, the director of MASSPIRG. “This report is more than a stocking stuffer. It proves what a huge gift updating the bottle bill would be to the economic engine we’re trying to jumpstart in Massachusetts.”
The Sierra Club, MASSPIRG, and many other organizations have been working to pass an update to the bottle bill.
“Expanding the bottle bill is good for our neighborhoods, good for our environment, and good for our pocket book,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “This legislation gives us a real opportunity to prevent litter on our streets and in our parks while generating important recycling jobs.”
The study finds that different recycling methods create different numbers of jobs, and deposit-return systems create 11 to 38 times more jobs than a curbside recycling system relative to beverage containers, with the range due to system parameters and system performance.
Prepared by CM Consulting and Sound Resource Management Group, the study examined the three most common U.S. collection methods for beverage containers: beverage container deposit programs; single-family curbside; and multi-family and “enhanced” curbside, which includes community dropoff bins, self-haul and away-from-home collection.
The study explains that the primary driver of jobs in any recycling system is the sheer volume of material entering the system. Container deposit-return (CDR) systems generate dramatically higher volumes of beverage containers than curbside systems, an average of 76 percent recovery in CDR states compared to just 24 percent recovery in non-CDR states.
The secondary driver of container-recycling jobs is the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers needed to collect, sort and transport the materials. CDR systems, in which containers are handled more or less individually, employ an average of 7.34 FTEs per 1,000 tons of containers, while curbside systems require an average of 1.66 FTEs in an automated system and 4.46 FTEs in a manual system.
Glass bottles manufactured in a CDR state have six times more recycled content than bottles made in a state without a container deposit (72 percent vs 12 percent). The study also looked at beverage container recycling using virgin raw materials. It found that ten times more US workers are employed in recycling PET than in producing an equivalent amount of PET resin from virgin raw materials (9.9 FTEs per 1,000 tons of recycled PET vs 0.6 FTEs per 1,000 tons of resin from virgin raw materials).
The report is available for download on the CRI web site: www.container-recycling.org and at www.massbottlebill.org
Monday, December 5, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
They're feeling the pressure, so we've got to keep it up.
You can help by submitting a letter to your local paper to support the Updated Bottle Bill
The opinion page is one of the most read pages in the newspaper and is closely tracked by an elected official's office. Writing your own opinion on the benefits of the Bottle Bill will help shape the conversation because it will be read by thousands of people.
Besides, who doesn't like seeing their name in the paper?
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Boston, MA - A group of environmental advocates -- dressed as pirates, cats, and even Little Red Riding Hood -- called on Massachusetts legislators to expand the state's bottle-recycling program yesterday.
In a Halloween-themed push, backers of legislation that would add a 5-cent deposit onto the cost of bottled water, sports drinks and other non carbonated beverages, showed up at the Statehouse in costume yesterday to "trick-or-treat" throughout the building and share their views with lawmakers.
The supporters of the so-called "bottle bill," including college students and members of environmental organizations, were brought together by MASSPIRG, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, an organization that has been one of the bill's main proponents.
"Updating the bottle bill means less litter, more recycling and saving cities and towns money," said MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz. "That is not a trick. That's a treat."
The group visited the office of each member of the House and Senate, bringing with them a total of 15,313 postcards from constituents asking that their legislators support the bill.
UMass Lowell students Ryan Bichekas and Brooks Hubbard helped distribute postcards and information packets to area representatives.
"It's really important just to try to help the environment," said Bichekas, a senior studying political science. "It's being pushed to the brink as it is."
Bichekas, who joked that he consideredwearing a mask of former President Richard Nixon, who was president when the Environmental Protection Agency was established, said he believes the bill creates a necessary incentive for people to recycle.
The original bottle bill, passed in 1982, was the first statewide recycling program in Massachusetts. Retailers and consumers pay a 5-cent deposit when purchasing canned or bottled carbonated drinks, and consumers who return the bottles to redemption centers get their deposit refunded.
The proposal to expand the system is sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, and Rep. Alice Wolf, D-Cambridge. Sens. Jamie Eldrigde, D-Acton, Ken Donnelly, D-Arlington, and Susan Fargo, D-Lincoln, are among the 80 co-sponsors of the bill.
Swampscott, MA - I’m a walker. I walk every day. When I don’t want to walk, my dog Soxie pesters the bejeebers out of me until I get my daily constitutional. Soxie doesn’t just like to walk, she loves to walk; it’s the highlight of her day.
When I walk, I always pick up litter along the way. Whether it’s our beautiful beaches, our lovely parks, or our neighbors’ rail trails or woods, I’m always picking up as much litter as I can carry out. By far, the greatest litter offender is the ubiquitous plastic water bottle. (Coffee cups run a distant second.)
I read a story last Spring about the Charles River Conservancy (CRC). For many years they have enlisted a corps of volunteers for an annual Spring clean up along the banks of the River Charles. The CRC volunteers have reported the same thing – plastic water bottles are the trashiest offender to a cleaner environment. It used to be soda and beer bottles but that stopped once the “Bottle Bill” was established.
The answer is simple, right? Let’s require a deposit on water bottles.
According to the Sierra Club: “the Bottle Bill, the nickel deposit on beverage containers, is the state’s most successful recycling and litter prevention program. Since the Bottle Bill's passage in 1983, over 35 billion containers have been redeemed, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But to keep up with the times and consumers' tastes, the bottle bill must be updated.”
There currently is an updated Bottle Bill sponsored by our excellent State Rep, Lori Ehrlich. This bill would expand our container deposit system to include “new age” drinks such as non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. It would decrease litter and increase recycling.
An estimated 3.3 billion beverages are consumed annually in Massachusetts, of which 1.3 billion are “new-age” and this number is only expected to increase. As consumers purchase more of these beverages, an increasing number of containers are finding their way to landfills, littering the sides of our roads and fouling our beaches and parks.
If you feel as I do about cleaning up our environment and cutting our government’s increasing disposal costs, I urge you to check out the Sierra Club’s web site on this issue. http://www.sierraclubmass.org/ubb/index.htm
While the bill is expected to have the overwhelming support of legislators in both Houses, it is currently “bottled up” in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, co-chaired by our Salem neighbor Rep. John Keenan. You can do your part by letting your feelings be known to Keenan and/or another Committee member. You can get their contact information at http://www.malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J37
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Letter to the Editor by Raymond A. Jussaume, Somerset
Published Aug 26, 2011
On Aug. 17, The Herald News printed a guest opinion by Chris Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association, in which he opposed the expanded bottle bill. I wish to respond.
Mr. Flynn writes that we should work harder to educate residents on best recycling practices, expand curbside recycling, and make it easier to recycle in public places. He is absolutely right. But there is no reason why these suggestions should not be acted on, along with enacting an expanded bottle bill. The bottle bill provides a motivation for recycling, missing from the above suggestions.
Mr. Flynn states that the proposed legislation “would actually interfere with successful recycling programs,” but he does not say how. The five cent deposit on aluminum cans caused no such interference, so why should a similar deposit on bottles?
Then there is the question of increased cost to consumers. Mr. Flynn worries that families are struggling to keep costs down, and says that “now is not the time to burden them with a new tax.” But no new tax is proposed, merely a redeemable deposit. The price of bottled water, iced tea, juices and sports drinks is not likely to go out of sight.
Then there is concern for increased costs to business. Mr. Flynn writes that in New York, their bottle redemption law led to plant closures in the industry, and resulted in lost jobs.
We are not told what plants closed, and therefore cannot verify that the closures were in fact due to the bottle law. But obviously not all New York plants were so affected. Nor does Mr. Flynn report closings in Maine or Connecticut, which require deposits. Also, we know that there are small breweries operating in Massachusetts, which don’t appear to suffer from the deposit on aluminum cans.
Mr. Flynn’s piece did not bring up the matter of cost to cities and towns, but soon Mt. Trashmore will reach capacity, and what will be done with municipal waste then? No new incinerators will be built. Disposal of waste will cost a lot more, and that cost will be paid by the taxpayers. Any reduction of that cost should be desirable.
Finally, Mr. Flynn insists that there would be “no meaningful environmental benefits” resulting from adoption of an expanded bottle bill. This is terribly wrong. It’s for the sake of our environment that we should favor the bill.
It would be better for our environment if we did away with the deposit on aluminum cans, and implemented it on plastic bottles alone. Aluminum is a valuable metal, and could be recovered from the ashes of incinerators, and even from landfills.
But when plastic bottles are burned, it adds to the toxic gases released into the air. The poisons that go up in smoke do not disappear, but are washed out by the rain to bring harm to all life on earth. Even if we don’t believe at all in global warming and climate change, we have to agree that plastic bottles must be recycled.
Mr. Flynn notes that bottles “make up only a narrow portion of the waste stream.” That is true. But the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection reports that 30,000 tons of beverage bottles are discarded annually in our state. That’s 60 million pounds going to incinerators and landfills every year.
Bottles make up small percentage of municipal waste. But that small percentage should be eliminated by passing the expanded bottle bill.
Raymond A. Jussaume
Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x383664464/LETTER-Industry-concerns-about-bottle-bill-are-flawed#ixzz1Y1mzZY6x
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Help Pass the Bottle Bill Update!
The Bottle Bill is the State's most successful recycling and litter prevention program. Since the Bottle Bill's inception in 1983, over 35 billion containers have been redeemed, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But to keep up with the times and consumer's tastes, the bottle bill must be updated. An Updated Bottle Bill would expand our container deposit system to include "new age" drinks such as non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. It would decrease litter and increase recycling. Nearly 200 cities and towns - in every corner of the state - have passed resolutions in support of the Bottle Bill update.
Come to the State House to Show Your Support: Gather at the State House, Beacon Street side Wed. July 20, 2011, 9am, and show legislators our support!
Come to the Hearing: Wed. July 20, 2011, 10am, State House, Gardiner Auditorium.
Contact your State Representative and State Senator: Ask them to Support the Updated Bottle Bill H890/S1650, sponsored by Rep. Wolf/Sen. Creem. Click here to contact them
Volunteer! There's lots you can do to help pass the Bottle Bill Update! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
News Release from the City of Boston, Massachusetts
Office of the Mayor Thomas M. Menino
Boston and 182 other Massachusetts cities and towns support bill expansion that would save municipalities up to $6.5 million annually.
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined State Senator Cynthia Creem, State Representative Alice Wolf, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, and statewide recycling advocates to announce that a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed resolutions in support of the updated Bottle Bill. This legislation would close a major loophole in the existing law expanding the definition of beverage containers to include water bottles, sports drinks, and other beverages in order to encourage recycling and reduce litter.
“The expanded bottle bill is good for our neighborhoods, good for our environment, and good for our pocket book,” Mayor Menino said. “These containers litter our streets, business districts and parks, and this legislation gives us a real opportunity to prevent litter while saving important resources.”
The public’s consumption of these beverages has grown significantly since the Bottle Bill was originally enacted in 1982. Today, over 3 billion containers are used in the Commonwealth every year with about one-third not recycled due to the loophole in the legislation. With the current redemption rate at nearly 70 percent, the Bottle Bill has proven to be a recycling success. However, only soda and beer containers are eligible for redemption under the current law.
“As times have changed and the way people consume drinks has changed, it really makes sense to update the Bottle Bill,” said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “Including more containers in the law will give consumers an extra incentive to recycle.”
“Our cities and towns know the importance of updating the bottle bill,” said Senator Cynthia Creem. “The public continues its strong support, and I hope the legislature will move swiftly now to enact this bill.”
Boston pays approximately $79-per-ton to dispose of residential solid waste, but an updated Bottle Bill would increase containers eligible for redemption by 33 percent. This increase would result in 3,000 tons of additional beverage containers collected per year, saving Boston taxpayers over a half million dollars per year in maintenance, collection, and disposal costs. Statewide, the Department of Environmental Protection estimates that an updated Bottle Bill will save cities and towns between $3.7 and $6.5 million every year in avoided collection, disposal and recycling costs.
Statement of Janet Domenitz, Executive Director, MASSPIRG
“We are grateful for Mayor Menino’s leadership in promoting the common-sense, win-win legislation to update the Bottle Bill. A recent poll shows that 77% of the public supports this bill. In addition, 81 of the 200 legislators signed on as cosponsors this session, and as of today 183 of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed resolutions urging passage of the bill. It all adds up---the time is now for the state Legislature to pass this bill, which will reduce litter, increase recycling, and save cities and towns money in clean-up and disposal costs.”
Statement by James McCaffrey, Director, Massachusetts Sierra Club
“This bill is about litter, waste, our environment, and support and financial relief for our cities and towns. If the bottle bill update is enacted, nearly a billion more bottles will be recycled, savings thousands of barrels of oil, and saving our municipalities millions in litter collection and disposal fees,” said McCaffrey. “With the increasing financial pressures that face our cities and towns, passing this legislation will enable them to maintain cleaner streets and parks without needing to spend additional funds.”
Monday, March 7, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The legislators below have sponsored/cosponsored one of the Bottle Bill Updates of 2011:
Sen. Chang-Diaz Sen. Creem (Lead Senate Sponsor) Sen. Clark Sen. DiDomenico Sen. Donnelly Sen. Eldridge Sen. Fargo Sen. Jehlen Sen. Keenan Sen. Kennedy Sen. Petruccelli Sen. Ross Sen. Rush Sen. Spilka Sen. Timilty Sen. Wolf Rep Alicea Rep Andrews Rep Ashe Rep Atkins Rep Balser Rep Basile Rep Benson Rep Brodeur Rep Brownsberger Rep Calter Rep Canavan Rep Cariddi Rep Coakley-Rivera Rep Conroy Rep Coppinger Rep Creedon Rep Dykema Rep Ehrlich Rep Fernandes Rep Fresolo Rep Fox Rep Garballey Rep Garlick Rep Hecht Rep Henriquez Rep Hogan Rep Kaufman Rep Khan Rep Kocot Rep Koczera Rep Kulik Rep Lewis Rep Linsky Rep Madden Rep Malia Rep Mark Rep McMurtry Rep Nyman Rep O’Connell Rep O’Day Rep Peake Rep Peisch Rep Pignatelli Rep Provost Rep Ross Rep Rushing Rep Sanchez Rep Sannicandro Rep Scibak Rep Sciortino Rep Smith Rep Smizik Rep Speliotis Rep Speranzo Rep Straus Rep Stanley (Harriett) Rep Stanley (Thomas) Rep Story Rep Swan Rep Timilty Rep Toomey Rep Turner Rep Vallee Rep Walz Rep Walsh Rep Winslow Rep Wolf (Lead House Sponsor)