Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Deposit Law

Moving to Missouri from Michigan three and a half years ago didn't seem like that big of a change. The weather is noticeably more mild here, but a lot of things seemed familiar. The street signs are similar (green and white and the same font, not true of other states). The terrain is rolling and not too flat or too hilly just like Michigan. Both States begin with an "M"! Town names are pretty normal, unlike Pennsylvania where they have some interesting ones. One difference I noticed is that Missourians throw away their bottles and cans. In Michigan we've had a deposit law since the mid 70's and nobody throws away a bottle or can.

In case you are unfamiliar with deposit laws it's like this...You pay an extra 10 cents on each carbonated bottle and can (soda and beer, not sports drinks, teas and water yet) and when you return the bottles and cans to the store you get your 10 cents back. The amount varies by State but I can tell you that 10 cents is enough incentive to return the bottle/can. And the big surprise is that everybody does it. It's not just environmentally friendly treehuggers. It's made very convenient to get your cash back. All of the grocery stores have reverse vending machines. You drop your bottles and cans in the machine and it spits out a receipt. You take the receipt up to the cashier and they give you cash. There were many times in college that the cash saved our lives (read: became pizza and beer money). It added up quick in those days.

Curbside recycling is inadequate at best and I don't see people lining up at the recycling centers to return their cans. From what I understand the bottling companies incur more cost because of recycling and claim they have to pass it along to consumers which I guess they assume will hurt their sales. I've contacted Anheuser Busch and Sen. Jim Talent and received amazingly similar responses. Both responded that they are in favor of recycling but neglected to answer my specific question about deposit laws. It appears to be another in a long line of examples of Republicans siding with big business rather than the American people.

1 comment:

It's Lisa, y'all said...

I love recycling. Nashville makes it very difficult for apartment dwellers to recycle because we have to haul things to often shifting recycling dumpster locations. The closest one to me is about 15 minutes away. Needless to say, I don't go very often.

I too wish that bottle deposit laws were more wide-spread across the states and included a greater variety of products. I have heard that water bottles are filling up our landfills (not sure if that's a fact) and that recycling companies don't receive enough water bottles to create many products which could be made out of the recycled plastic.

Mike, just tell me to get my own blog!