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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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