Salem Citizens Call on Keenan to Update the Bottle Bill

By Janet Domenitz
Executive Director

Citizens in Salem are clamoring for the Updated Bottle Bill. Check out this Letter to the Editor from the Salem News:

To the editor:

A May 29 article described state Rep. John Keenan's ambivalence about bottle-bill legislation before his committee, which would increase the deposit to 10 cents and expand the bill to cover most drink containers.

While I am sympathetic to store owners who will have an additional burden under this bill, the burden is not that big. It is insignificant compared to the burden they took on when the first bottle bill went into effect. This is just an adjustment to a system already in place.

Most convenience stores are not affected much by the existing bill, nor would they be by its expansion. People rarely redeem their bottles at such stores, regardless of where the drink was purchased.

As to the benefits: It's not just less litter, although that benefit would be real. Of at least equal benefit is the efficiency of source-separated recycling: Much less wasteful and more cost-effective than the unsorted recycling process applied to our curbside bins.

Finding cost-effective markets for recycled material can be a real challenge: No sale, no recycling.

More importantly: It just makes sense. Sad to say the sheer quantity of disposable and disposed-of products today makes the source-separated deposit approach advisable, practically and culturally.

Drink containers are a start. We really need this model for computers and electronics, light bulbs with mercury, and many other things that really should not be buried, burned or lost at sea.

We should keep this ball rolling.

Duncan Cox

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