In the last 50 years we have experienced a doubling of the world's population. Our planet is not getting smaller, but it is getting a bit more crowded.
We need to conserve our natural resources to leave a good environment for our children's children to grow up in. We can start by focusing on reducing the amount of waste in our landfills. By reducing the waste stream we can increase the life of our landfills.
A recent Standard-Times article heralded the doubling of our recycling rates due to the introduction of single-stream recycling in New Bedford and the use of larger bins to accommodate our recyclables. In addition, Dartmouth adopted a "pay as you throw" trash collection program. By doing this we have extended the use of the Crapo Hill landfill beyond its 20-year lifespan by more than 10 years.
We can continue to build on our successes for a cleaner environment by voting yes on Question 2, expanding the bottle bill. The current bottle deposit law results in a recycling rate of 80 percent on all bottle deposit containers. By expanding the bottle deposit law to include water, juice and sports drinks, we will increase our recycling rate of these bottles and greatly reduce litter on our streets.
The recycling rate on non-deposit containers is only 23 percent. Curbside recycling of these containers is not working as well as a bottle deposit would.
The facts are clear: The beverage industry not only produces the drink but they have found a very inexpensive way to bottle their beverages. These bottles are not biodegradable. We must recycle and reuse these containers. We as a society cannot afford to throw them away. While these containers may be cheap for the industry to produce they are not cheap for us consumers to discard.
The beverage industry is spending heavily to defeat Question 2. It is for us the people to keep our communities clean and to leave a healthy environment for those who follow us. Don't be swayed by a high-priced advertising campaign that will end up costing us taxpayers more in waste management costs.
The bottle deposit law works. It works for us and for our future. That is why we need to expand our bottle deposit law to increase recycling of these containers. We need to reuse and conserve our resources so they will continue to be there for us and our children and our children's children.
So vote for a cleaner environment. Vote to prevent litter in our streets. Vote to recycle, reuse and conserve.
Vote yes on Question 2.