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Proposal to update state's bottle bill is moving on

Petition-drive organizers obtained more than enough signatures
Staff Writer

BOSTON —The secretary of state’s office having made it official, the Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill announced Monday that its initiative petition had cleared a major hurdle.

The secretary of state’s office issued a letter stating that 94,950 signatures on the petition had been certified. The petition-drive organizers needed to obtain at least 68,911 signatures to send the proposal to the state Legislature.

If the Legislature does not act on the matter, the organizers will need to get an additional 11,485 signatures to put the measure on the ballot in 2014.

The top signer of the petition, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said Monday that passage of the proposal would “help clean up our neighborhoods, expand recycling, and save cities and towns money at a time when we need it the most.”

Janet Domenitz, executive director of MassPIRG, said: “While an initiative petition drive is never easy, collecting signatures for this bill, which is so widely supported by the public and so long delayed by the Legislature, felt like making a touchdown.”

The bill, which would require paying a deposit of 5 cents on containers of beverages including water, sports drinks and iced tea, has been pending in the Legislature for about a decade.

Ryan Black of the Massachusetts Sierra Club said: “So many people have called this bill a ‘no brainer,’ because they all know what a big improvement this bill would be for our environment.”

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, a key organization in the petition drive, deployed members across the state.

“This issue knows no boundaries,” Lynn Wolbarst of Sharon said. “Our league members in Amherst and Gloucester are as enthusiastic as those in Martha’s Vineyard.”

The petition drive succeeded with help from many local and state organizations, including the Environmental League of Massachusetts, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the South Shore Recycling Cooperative.

Read more: Proposal to update state’s bottle bill is moving on - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger 
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