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Bottle Deposit Bill Targets Money-Losing Litter

Posted February 20, 2007

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— A state senator on Tuesday introduced legislation to impose 10-cent deposits on the bottles and cans that now are tossed away as valueless and make up 60 percent of the trash along North Carolina highways.

It’s an effort, he said, to help turn an expense into a commodity with commercial value.

The state spends nearly $16 million on roadside clean-up. Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin County, thinks the deposit system would be a partial solution to that budget drain.

“Cans, bottles, plastics—instead of ending up on the roadside, they end up in the stream of commerce because it's profitable to pick-up those bottles,” Berger said. The deposits would be collected at designated redemption centers.

A manager from a local vending-machine company told WRAL he would anticipates a short-term decline in sales if the bill were to pass.

Berger said drink manufacturers already have contacted him, and he’s expecting an uphill battle in the Legislature.

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  • raybetty99 Feb 21, 2007

    I am in favor of a deposit on beverage containers. Imagine all those bottles and cans on the road as being nickels and dimes. I don’t think they would stay there long. If folks continued to pitch them out, it would cost them.

    It would also be an incentive to recycle, which would help save our landfills. Do you want a landfill near you? Recycling saves natural resources as well as landfill space. If folks don't want to recycle, it's going to cost them.

    Bottle deposits have made a difference in other states and I believe it would make a difference in North Carolina. It sure would make picking up litter easier for me if I didn't have to pick up bottles and cans especially glass bottles which are really heavy.

    Litter comes from several different sources. There is no one solution. We have to look at all the sources. Each source needs to be tackled separately.

  • Slip Kid Feb 21, 2007

    You know, of course, that it costs the state and/or private business more than the .10 cent deposit to manage this new government interference. So, while it seems it's a win-win, the taxpayer will still pay more for this program than it is designed to save in litter pick-up.
    Enforcing our current litter laws and bringing some SHAME on offenders will do more than government (mis)handling of our money.

    Yes, litter may be reduced, but by how much and at what actual cost? Think about it.

  • BIG YAWN Feb 21, 2007

    geipa- if this bill is passed the only money your going to get is your deposit back that you already paid. There will still be tons of trash on the side of the road it just won't be bottles or cans for deposit. Meanwhile someone else will be profiting from your hard work of storing and cleaning cans and bottles for them. This bill is USELESS!

  • Proud2BUS Citizen Feb 21, 2007

    It is a great idea. BUT - I heard there would be limited collection sites. I know of serveral states that you just take the items back the store and they return the deposit. It has been working that way for several years without problems. It is an option that needs to be looked at. Limiting collection sites would not solve the problem.

  • giepa Feb 21, 2007

    The deposit on each can bottle etc works for the State of wa, you bet I will be out there picking up dimes if this bill is passed ,, Lets vote on it??? ok I have had my say

  • nursevb8 Feb 21, 2007

    People are just lazy and don't care. They're not going to care about $.10 either. I have to pay the increased $ because someone else is a pig, then I have to take the time to return it somewhere also. We already recycle cans. Did anyone see the huge amount of carpet padding on 540 since this past weekend. Had to come out of a truck. Anyone going to pick it up? Who do they pay $16 million to for roadside cleanup?

  • trashhater Feb 21, 2007

    I am all for anything that will help with the litter problem on our roads. If they want to add .5 or .10 cents to drink bottles and cans, I will be glad to return them to the store to get my money back. The NC roads are horrendous! It needs to be easier to report someone for littering as well. I tried to report someone for dumping an ashtray out on the road, but when I did, they required me to give my name and told me it would be printed in the newspaper in the police reports section giving my name. Is it worth the possibility of someone coming after me for reporting them for littering? I think not!

  • trashhater Feb 21, 2007

    I rarely see anyone trowing out litter from their car. Not only do I see bottles, cans, fast food litter on the road, I see construction buckets, insulation, large pieces of plastic, tires, bags of trash and yes even furniture! These things are not thrown out of windows of cars and trucks! They blow or fall out of the back of trucks! ALL trucks! Trash trucks, construction trucks and pickup trucks! They need to be covered at all times! We need to pass a law requiring that all trucks are covered at ALL times!

  • trashhater Feb 21, 2007

    I am glad to see that SOMEONE is trying to do something about our litter problem! But I am not sure that this will make much of a dent. Yes, there is a lot of bottles and cans and fast food trash on the roads, but there is also much larger stuff that ends up on the roads. Stuff that comes from trucks, ALL trucks. I think that there needs to be a law passed that requires ALL trucks, even pickup trucks to be covered. We also need to have signs put up that states the fines for littering. In Colorado (where there is much less litter), they have signs stating fines of $250 - $500 for littering. We all need to be responsible for litter whether it is intentional or not.

  • Joann Feb 21, 2007

    I agree our roadsides have too much litter, but Sen. Berger said 60% of litter is bottles and cans. I believe that number is way out of line and is more like 5 - 10% of litter is beverage containers. I think he has been misinformed.