Archive for the ‘legislation’ Category

Phoenix Faces Challenges Initiating Recycling Program for Multifamily Residences

March 1st, 2012 No comments

Phoenix, Arizona, named after the mythological firebird forever reborn from the ashes of its former self, is currently implementing a pilot recycling program for city-owned multifamily housing in low income neighborhoods. But there are particular challenges involved, mainly spreading awareness to residents regarding what goes into which receptacle, and inciting them to take advantage of such accessible means to recycle. In addition, city officials plan to overcome these obstacles by handing off awareness responsibilities to city property managers, a strategy that may lead to interesting outcomes.

The incentives for Phoenix to enact sustainability programs throughout city-owned property is clear. They need to reduce management costs over time and one way to do so is to make multifamily residences more sustainable. The pilot program being implemented at two city-owned apartment complexes, Park Lee Apartments and Sunnyslope Manor, hopes to prove this is possible, after which it will be extended to all low-income housing units under Phoenix ownership. If shown effective on such a grand scale, the program will be further expanded to cover all multifamily city residences to help curb waste management costs.

The problem is that property managers paid by the city are basically doing their bosses bidding by creating ways to inform residents as to the existence of recycling bins and the ways in which the waste is separated into them. Private-sector property managers aren’t going to be so pressured to go out of their way to inform and enforce a recycling program throughout low-income housing. In addition, initiating such a program among working-class, unemployed, and often unsettled droves of individuals raises its own set of challenges.

Such housing units in the northwest corridor between Phoenix and Scottsdale see all walks of life, from stay-at-home moms to transients to those who need just a little help getting back to being productive members of society. This diversity further complicates matters for those behind the program and managers tasked with making their property more sustainable. Schedules are odd, struggling families are resistant to change, and the residents themselves move in and out so much that it’s hard to ingrain any sort of habit change on a mass scale.

We know from experience a recycling program is successful based on these three factors:

  • Convenience
  • Education
  • Economics

Informing people about how to identify, separate and properly dispose of their recycling in and of itself takes little more than leaving fliers door to door and emailing a recycling FAQ. But things get harder when it comes to dishing out the responsibilities to property managers without offering incentives, and reaching out to individuals who are either too busy trying to get by to care or aren’t even bothered enough to throw their garbage in a trash can. Will Phoenix succeed in instituting a city-wide recycling program for multifamily residences? That depends on how badly they want to live up to their city’s namesake.

We can offer our Lessons Learned: Recycle Bin Setup

Read more…


January 13th, 2012 No comments

We, at, do NOT support SOPA / PIPA.

For the very first time, we are posting something not related to being green or recycling. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are dangerous and written from a point of ignorance of the Internet and Innovation.

For an explanation, please watch this short video PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks the Internet from Fight for the Future.

Some initial thoughts (partially borrowed from WordPress News):

  • Our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, i.e., people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not easily reverted. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it.

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars over the next few years — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the Internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the Internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

We’ve added the “Stop SOPA” ribbon to our blog and encourage all other blog owners to do the same.

For more information:

Daily Kos:

Thanks! And, now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Categories: ecycler, legislation Tags:

Even Guam has a Bottle Bill!

October 31st, 2011 No comments

In the final days of his administration, the Governor of Guam, Felix Camacho, signed into law Bottle Bill 149 proposed by Sen. Tina Muna Barnes in June 2009, which adds a five cent deposit on beverage containers identified for recycling efforts. It’s now been almost a year (30 Dec 2010) since Public Law 30-221 went into affect.

A little background… After three attempts at introducing bottle bill legislation, Barnes’ attempts have finally paid off. Barnes added that the effort to introduce a bottle bill has spanned 30 years through seven legislative authors.

The five cent deposit will go into a Beverage Container Recycling Deposit Fund administrated by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. Four cents for each container will be returned to the customer and one cent will be used for administrative and auditing costs and educational outreach.

There are currently 10 states that have a container deposit law. They are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Many of the states have reported an increase in recycling and participation efforts. For example, in California, recycling rates increased significantly from 52 percent in 1988, when the law was implemented, to 82 percent participation in 2009.

According to, the legislation helps to prevent litter, promote recycling, reduce waste, create jobs, and provide financial incentives for recycling, among other environmental and economic benefits.

“This bill is not just an environmental issue. It is also an economic issue. Residents will be proactively engaged in reducing the litter on our beaches, roadways and jungles.” Sen Barnes goes on to say, “This legislation will help alleviate the burden placed on the Tourism Attraction Fund and other tax dollars spent on removing and reducing litter. It will encourage the development of young entrepreneurs who will enter into public private partnerships while improving our environment and stimulating our economy. The Bottle Bill is the first step our youth will take toward jobs of the future…green jobs.”

The specifics are still being hammered out; several subcommittees were formed to address rules and regulations, operations and permitting, finance, and outreach.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Massachusetts to Expand its Bottle Bill?

August 5th, 2011 1 comment

Support is growing for expansion of Massachusetts bottle bill.

The state’s bottle bill now requires deposits only on soda and beer bottles and cans, but lawmakers are trying to expand the 5-cent deposit to also include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverage containers.

Almost half of the cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed resolutions supporting the expansion and a recent poll found that 77 percent of the public supports it.

Supporters say the bill will improve recycling rates. About 80 percent of soda and other containers covered under the existing bottle deposit law are redeemed or recycled but only an estimated 22 percent of other uncovered bottles are recycled, according to the Sierra Club’s Massachusetts chapter.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a report recently stating that bottle return machines have the capacity to accept more containers of different types. The agency also said municipalities could save a combined $7 million a year in avoided trash costs under expected improvements in recycling.

But some businesses oppose the expansion because they say it adds cost for the retailers that have to accept the deposits and for beverage distributors that have to pay redemption centers.

Retail groups and beverage manufacturers say the money would be better spent improving curbside recycling programs.

Advocates have been pushing for an expanded bottle bill for years, and now there are 13 different bills pending that would make changes to the state’s bottle deposit law, including one that would repeal it altogether.

The bills would also re-establish a Clean Environment Fund so that unreturned deposit money can be set aside for recycling and environmental projects and boost a fee that beverage distributors pay to bottle redemption centers.

Current MA bottle bill:

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Will Nevada be our Next Bottle Bill State?

July 1st, 2011 1 comment

Hurray for Nevada!

Nevada will study the establishment of a bottle bill for the state after legislators there approved a measure to look into deposits for various items. Several other states including Texas and Tennessee are also seeking to create a bottle bill for their states.

Previously a deposit proposal that would force a 5¢ deposit on various recyclables, Assembly Bill 427 was changed in early June to a “study”. Both the Assembly and Senate passed the measure which goes into law today (1 July 2011).

The study, according to the bill, must consider which recyclable materials should be included in the deposit program including plastic, glass, aluminum (or tin) containers, and paper & plastic grocery bags. The study must also include an analysis of the process for the payment and refund of the deposit, including the creation of redemption centers. The study will be delivered for the next legislature.

We, at ecycler, are always encouraged to see another state strive to become a bottle bill state.

Reasons to Support The Bottle Bill

  • Keeping current with consumer habits
  • Promotes Recycling and Reduces Waste
  • Provides Financial Incentives for Recycling
  • Produces High-Quality Recyclable Materials
  • Creates Jobs

Read our full posting on the reasons to support your state’s bottle bill.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Maine Bottle Bill in Dire Straits?

April 26th, 2011 No comments

Maine’s bottle bill is at risk of being vastly modified, if not totally dismantled.

Lawmakers in Maine have made various attempts to modify the state’s 33-year-old bottle bill, which mandates a refund for people who recycle beverage containers. Beverage distributors have lobbied for a repeal of the bill, citing concerns about fraud and inefficiency.

One lawmaker has proposed a bill that would study whether to replace the bottle bill with a  curbside recycling program. The Natural Resources Council of Maine has argued that replacing the deposit collection system could lead to job losses, reduced recycling rates and more litter.

The current law states that larger containers, such as wine and liquor bottles, have a 15-cent deposit. Another proposed bill would exempt all bottles over 28 ounces from deposits.

Yet another bill would reduce the number of pickups beverage distributors would have to make to a redemption center. Currently, distributors must pick up all empty containers from a retailer when making a delivery. The proposed bill would require pickup once a store has generated $750 worth of containers, or once a month.

Those concerned with the various proposals contend that they would undermine recycling efforts in the state by providing less incentive for individuals and distributors to recycle.

Information on the existing Maine Bottle Bill.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Texas Bottle Bill

January 8th, 2011 No comments

Who lives in Texas? We need your support in getting this bill passed!

What does it all mean? The Texas Bottle Bill in a nut shell:

Beverages Covered:
Beer, malt, carbonated soft drinks, mineral water, wine, coffee, tea, juices and flavored and non-carbonated waters. Dairy products excluded.

Containers Covered:
All sealed containers made of glass, plastic or aluminum containing a beverage of 4 liters or less.

Amount of Deposit:
10¢ on 24 oz or less, 15¢ on greater than 24 oz

Handling Fee:
A handling fee to be paid to retailers, redemption centers, recycling centers and registered curbside operations.

Reclamation System:
Retail stores (optional), redemption centers, reverse vending machines, non-profit organizations.

Beverage Container Fund:
Funding for educational recycling programs and the recycling industry

Program Goal:
75% overall recycling rate for Texas

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed from across the State of Texas. Any help is greatly appreciated:

  • Distribute flyers at nearby stores and public events
  • Gather signatures on petitions to show your legislators the we support the Bottle Bill.
  • Send a letter to the editor of your local paper showing your support of the bill. Local newspapers want to hear from residents on this type of issue.
  • Do you have other ideas, please share them with us.

For more information, check out

The Success of New York’s New Bottle Bill

December 14th, 2010 No comments

In its first year of implementation, New York´s expanded beverage container deposit law, known as the “Bottle Bill”, the state has collected more than $120 million in unclaimed deposits and has helped boost plastic recycling rates nationally.

The Bottle Bill, which went into effect Oct. 31, 2009, added water bottles to the list of beverage containers requiring a minimum 5-cent refundable deposit. Under the new law, beverage companies are now required to transfer 80% of the unredeemed deposits to the state General Fund. Previously, beverage companies kept all the unclaimed deposits.

Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, noted that 2009 was a year of excellent growth in recycling rates in the container deposit-refund programs around the country.

“The expansions in New York, Connecticut and Oregon added nearly four and a half billion containers to deposit programs, and have the potential to increase the nation´s overall beverage container recycling rate by two percentage points,” Collins said. “PET reclaimers in the U.S. are hungry for this material. They are busy building new plants in the U.S., and can staff them with new employees as long as the materials are available to them.”

What beverages are covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

  • Carbonated Soft Drinks, including Sparkling Water, Carbonated Energy Drinks, Carbonated Juice (anything less than 100% juice, containing added sugar or water)
  • Soda Water
  • Beer and Other Malt Beverages
  • Mineral Water – Both carbonated and non-carbonated mineral water
  • Wine Products
  • Water

What beverages are NOT covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

  • Milk Products
  • Wine and Liquors
  • Tea
  • Sports Drinks
  • Juice
  • Drink Boxes
  • Waters Containing Sugar

With the success of New York’s Bottle Bill, we hope to see more states following suit. Here are a few more reasons to support your state’s bottle bill:

D-Day is Coming to Delaware

November 29th, 2010 2 comments

Delaware is no longer a Bottle Bill state! Redeem all of your containers now–before it’s too late.

The Delaware Beverage Container Law (aka “the Bottle Bill”) is undergoing a dramatic change. Please be aware that in early 2011, returnable beverage containers will no longer be refundable. Information on the current Delaware Beverage Container Law (some aspects taking effect in December 2010, others in early 2011), can be found here. Information below explains the changes in beverage container sales and returns as mandated through Senate Bill 234.


On June 8, 2010, Senate Bill 234 was signed into law. This piece of legislation does many things, one of which is replacing the Delaware Beverage Container Law. The 5¢ deposit will transition into a 4¢ fee. This fee will go into a temporary recycling fund that will help expand recycling programs. This fee will automatically be removed in 2014. Beginning in early 2011, beverage containers will not be redeemable in Delaware for a deposit. Several opportunities exist for you to recycle beverage containers. You can learn about those opportunities by contacting your waste hauler (or other waste haulers), the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, or the Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Branch.


  • You will no longer be able to redeem returnable beverage containers after January 31, 2011.
  • Stores will continue to refund deposits until that date.
  • The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect until January 31, 2011.


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to consumers through January 31, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of February 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to consumers.
  • You have until February 28, 2011 to redeem returnable beverage containers to distributors.
  • You will need to remit the 4¢ per beverage container fee to the Division of Revenue. This begins December 1, 2010 and includes the types of beverage containers that previously held a Delaware deposit value.

Retail Beverage Container License and Recycling Fee frequently-asked questions


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to dealers through February 28, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of March 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to dealers.

We’re sorry to see Delaware revert its recycling policies–now we’re down to ten bottle bill states. With some luck and a bit of hard work, Tennessee and Texas will soon join those ten.

Original posting available on the State of Delaware site

Bottle Bill Expansion is a “No Go” for Massachusetts!

August 18th, 2010 No comments

The expansion to the existing Massachusetts bottle bill (House Bill 3515) is dead. Again…

The bill was elegant and smart, and it would have brought a little money with it.

It would have given a makeover to the state’s bottle redemption law, which puts a refundable nickel deposit on some drink containers to encourage consumers to return them rather than throw them in the trash.

The 1982 law was written before the explosion of the snake-oil industry more commonly known as the bottled water business. And so it applies only to carbonated drinks — not water, sports drinks, or teas. Those drinks account for at least 1 billion of the more than 3 billion drink containers sold in Massachusetts each year. Only a third of those excluded containers, at best, are recycled (compared with 80 percent of bottles that carry deposits).

The rest — enough plastic bottles to fill Fenway Park, according to a Sierra Club estimate — are tossed into landfills each year.

The bottle bill update would have kept most of that plastic out of landfills and sent it to redemption centers. Those centers get 2.25 cents from beverage distributors for every bottle they handle, and the bill would have raised those handling fees by a penny — the first increase for struggling recycling centers since 1990.

The state said the new law would save cities and towns up to $7 million a year in trash costs and add $20 million to the $38 million the state already gets each year from unclaimed deposits.

Not surprisingly, the beverage industry went to work on legislators to snuff out the whole thing. After all, the new law would cost distributors money, making them responsible for even more bottles, when what they really want is to be responsible for none of them.

The companies that seem to have had no problem jacking up prices over the decades when it meant profits for them suddenly found grave concern for the well-being of their customers: There was no avoiding passing their extra costs along to Joe Six-pack, they said, and that wouldn’t be fair to him.

They were über-tree huggers, too, they said, and they worried that encouraging more bottle redemptions would undermine curbside recycling. As if we couldn’t — or shouldn’t — do both.

Despite their efforts, the bottle bill update got further than it has in the 16 years advocates have been trying to get it passed. A compromise made it out of a Senate committee for the first time in mid-July.

“I’ve worked on a lot of bills, and I really thought they were going to do it this time,’’ said Phil Sego, spokesman for the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

The bottle bill was done in by the dreaded T-word. Critics called the deposits a tax. And legislative leaders would rather eat their own heads than pass anything that even remotely resembles that evil specter.

Never mind that the five-cent deposit is fully refundable. Never mind that the bill would save cities and towns cleanup costs and fund water supply improvements. Never mind that the bill would offset the much bigger and more permanent cost of clogging landfills with plastic forever.

If intransigent legislators understood those nuances, they had no appetite for communicating them to voters in an election year, or no faith that their constituents would get it.

RIP (for now…)

Additional Information on Existing MA Bottle Bill:

Original story written by Yvonne Abraham, a Globe columnist–it may be found here at The Boston Globe.