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As the Massachusetts Senate takes up the “Jobs Bill” (S.2350), two organizations released a white paper demonstrating that amendment #36, which would update the Bottle Bill, the 5-cent deposit on some beverage containers, would save and/or create 1500 jobs in Massachusetts in the recycling, collection, and manufacturing sectors.
“It’s simple math across the board,” stated Phil Sego of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “Recycling creates eight times more jobs than disposal, we’ll capture 1 billion containers for recycling every year if we update the Bottle Bill, and as long as we continue to toss those containers instead of redeeming them, the redemption centers will keep going out of business—half of the state’s redemption centers have had to close their doors in the last 10 years.”
Mike Kessel, of Beverly Bottle and Can Return, said “Updating the bottle bill will save existing jobs and create new ones.” The delay in passing this bill has been particularly hard on Massachusetts’s redemption centers. “There’s no question that if the Updated Bottle Bill were to pass, we would be adding jobs at our facility,” added Dave Hudson, Vice President of Strategic Materials in Franklin, MA.
The report includes research and statistics from the Container Recycling Institute, the Institute for Local Self Reliance, and the Mass Department of Environmental Protection, among others. While the most popular case for the updating the Bottle Bill is its effectiveness as a litter clean-up tool, an equally strong argument for the update is its potential to create jobs in the Commonwealth, a top priority for lawmakers as the legislative session draws to a close.
“As long as the Legislature fails to Updated the Bottle Bill, not only are we throwing beverage containers away needlessly, we’re throwing away good jobs in Massachusetts,” commented Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG, a co-author of the report. “The Senate should take this opportunity to include the Bottle Bill update in the jobs bill.” The Updated Bottle Bill, sponsored by Rep. Alice Wolf and Sen. Cynthia Creem, has been pending in the Legislature for 14 years and has been filed as an amendment to the Jobs Bill in the Senate today.
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