Local News

Bottle Deposit Bill Targets Money-Losing Litter

Posted February 20, 2007 8:33 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2007 8:34 p.m. EST

— 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.