Thursday, December 15, 2011

Increased Recycling of Beverage Containers Creates Jobs

CRI Releases New Report, “Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers”

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 (

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: and at

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bridgewater becomes the 205th “Bottle Bill Update” Community

Bridgewater Becomes the 205th “Bottle Bill Update” Community

Bridgewater, MA – Following a request by the Bridgewater Green Committee, and introduced by Peter Riordan, Council member, the Bridgewater Town Council voted unanimously on November 22 to support an update to the state’s Bottle Bill, the 5¢ deposit on beverage containers.

“This sends a strong message to our legislators that the citizens of the Commonwealth see the huge benefits that bottle bill brings us like less litter, and more recycling,” said Bernice Morrissey, a member of the Bridgewater Green Committee. “It will also save the town substantial funds in litter cleanup and disposal costs.”

The grassroots effort to get endorsements from cities and towns was launched last year by the Coalition to Update the Mass Bottle Bill. The effort reached an important milestone in October when the 200th of the 351 cities and towns in the state passed the resolution.

The Updated Bottle Bill, H890/S1650, sponsored by Representative Alice Wolf (Cambridge) and Senator Cynthia Creem (Newton), would add water and juice bottles and similar beverage containers to the current deposit law, which puts a 5¢ deposit on most carbonated beverages. The deposit law, or Bottle Bill, on the books since 1983, is the single most successful recycling tool in the state, with 80% of covered containers redeemed or recycled every year.

“Enacting the bottle bill update will also mean more jobs,” said Phil Sego of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “Recycling is one of the state’s fastest growing sectors of the economy. We’ve been a national leader in creating jobs. Local recycling companies are eagerly awaiting this update.”

“The numbers say it all: 77% public support according to a MassINC poll, 80 formal bill sponsors in the Legislature, and 205 cities and towns endorsing,” commented Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG.

The neighboring communities of Easton, Raynham, and Sudbury also recently passed resolutions in favor of the bill’s passage. “Passage of this bill would be a huge help to all cities and towns", said Pat Neary, a Bridgewater Green Committee member. “Everyone will benefit from cleaner streets and parks.”

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Abington St. Patrick’s parade organizer to hit charitable milestone

St. Pat's Day parade organizer may break 2 million mark in '12
News Release: December 5th

[Abington, MA] - Jack Bailey expects to break the 2 million mark by the summer. That’s 2 million bottles and cans worth a cool $100,000.
And it all goes to put on Abington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other town programs. Since 1979, the year Massachusetts enacted a bottle bill, Bailey has been collecting them, and stuffing his garage on Orange Street with people’s donations.
A typical week’s haul is about $6,500, $4,700 of which goes to pay for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and $1,800 for the high school marching band.
The 2012 parade – the town’s 33rd annual – will be held on Sunday, March 18 and is expected to be the biggest and best ever. Eleven bands have already committed to the parade, Bailey said.
As St. Patrick’s Day draws closer, donations pick up, he said.
The parade usually costs about $18,000 to produce. The Abington Arts Council and other donations and sponsorships also help pay for it.
“We don’t overspend. We budget accordingly,” said Bailey, chairman of the parade organizing committee.
Bailey accepted and won a $10 bet in 1980 that he could put together a St. Patrick’s Day parade that would draw a crowd. He’s been doing it every since and the parade has grown in size and participation every year.
Town Manager John D’Agostino called Bailey’s effort to reach the 2 million-$100,000-mark a true milestone.