Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' column in GoLocal24.com:
I was reading an article the other day about Connecticut’s ‘’bottle bill,’’ which mandates that when you buy a container of soda, water and beer, etc., you are charged 5 cents on top of the price of the container – a nickel that you get back when you return the container to a redemption center to be recycled. That’s a very effective law (which Rhode Island should have) because it helps reduces litter.
In the Nutmeg State, the bottle bill has become a bonanza for the state because there are so many too-busy or too-lazy people who just toss their containers in the trash or a recycling bin and don’t claim the nickel at redemption centers.
See this story from WNPR: http://wnpr.org/post/has-connecticuts-bottle-bill-changed-environmental-law-cash-cow
If you toss a can into your trash or recycling bin, instead of redeeming it for the 5- cent deposit -- your unclaimed nickel goes to the state with nothing to the private redemption centers that are charged with collecting the stuff in return for a slice of the nickel. That’s been happening more and more. Tough for these small businesses.
I have long wondered about the full environmental efficacy of recycling. How much of the value of recycling plastic, metal and plastic is offset by the energy and water (often hot) used to clean it up a bit before it goes into the recycling bin and to transport and process it? Still, again, recycling and bottle bills, discourage littering. Besides its demoralizing effects on the public, litter, especially the plastic stuff, kills some wildlife.
So bless bottle bills and recycling.