Speliotis: I'm Not As Supportive of Bottle Bill As I Was [POLL]

Speliotis said he is unsure if Danvers residents, who switched to mandatory curbside recycling in January, would benefit from the proposed bill.

House and Senate leaders started debating Wednesday whether to include an expanded bottle deposit amendment in a bill designed to spur job creation.

The expanded bottle deposit amendment would put 5-cent deposits on bottles of water, juice, iced tea and sports drinks. 

While State Rep. Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers) said he has always been supportive of the bottle bill in the past, now he said he doesn't know if his constituents in Danvers would benefit from the proposed changes. 

"I do have reservations, because ," he said. 

Speliotis, who lives in Danvers, said he participates in the mandatory curbside recycling with plastic water bottles, but opts to bring soda cans and bottles back to the grocery store to redeem the 5 cent bottle deposit. 

"I find that very inconvenient," he said. "I would rather put everything on the curb right now."

Speliotis said he thinks it would be more fitting for the entire state to follow Danvers' policy , and make curbside recycling mandatory. 

"I'm not as supportive of the bottle bill as I was in the past," he said. 

The ammendment is attached to a jobs bill that passed in the Senate July 19 and is now being hashed out in a conference committee comprised of members of both chambers. Gov. Deval Patrick has said that he supports it.

The House has fought passage of an expanded bottle bill, which Speaker Robert DeLeo and others in the House view as a tax. But Sen. Robert Hedlund disputes this view, saying that taxes can't be redeemed. 

The expansion to the 31-year-old law designed to promote recycling and reduce litter would add plastic bottles used for water, juices, iced tea and sports drinks to the list of containers subject to the 5-cent bottle deposit. Under the law, these types of containers carry a 5-cent redeemable deposit that can be collected when they are returned to the store. 

Opponents say the bill increases costs for businesses and consumers. Supporters say it encourages more recycling.

The governor has said that the state could collect up to $58 million a year on unredeemed bottles, and that the program cuts the cost to cities of recycling the bottles. 

A finalized version of the bill will need to be sent through both chambers before going to the governor's desk by July 31. 

Jan Galkowski July 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM
What's bad for taxpayers is having to pay for beverage producers refuse! For example, Framingham spends nearly $4.1 million a year to dispose of all trash, where $2.9 million goes for trash disposal and $1.2 for collection of recycling and trash. Only 70% of beverage producers water bottles and other non-Bottle Bill containers make it into recycling, most arriving as trash, contributing to the $2.9 million taxpayer cost, and a bunch end up on roadsides and in parks, for municipal employees to collect. The same story replays in Westwood, Dedham, Brookline, Everett, Cambridge, Somerville, ... the list goes on. This is a subsidy of taxpayers of big beverage business, and apparently Beacon Hill leadership is loathe to receive their wrath. WHO are they representing? Why should we who choose NOT to use these products subsidize this practice? The plastic in water bottles is more expensive than the water. Even if the Expanded Bottle Bill fails YOU can do something: Take a plastic bottle bought once, and refill it thereafter from the tap. Or buy a durable container, and send a message to the Fat Cats of Polar, Ocean Spray, Poland Springs that they may be able to get DeLeo and Murray to play legislative games, and twist their arms, but they cannot do that to you.
Pat July 27, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I rather see the rich get taxed at the same rate everyone else does….The Buffett Rule
Carla King July 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM
I see no need for it with mandatory recycling.
Sean Ward July 30, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I would rather remove the bottle bill completely and replace it with statewide mandatory recycling. Then I could just put it in the same bins I put the rest of the plastic in each week instead of having to stuff them all in my car and bring them back to redeem them. Government should stop trying to find more ways to chase nickles down and instead come up with ways to operate a tighter ship.
Jan Galkowski July 30, 2012 at 03:09 PM
@Sean Ward, It is currently administratively illegal for end disposers like Wheelabrator to accept recyclable materials as trash. Some municipalities and towns will fine (after a warning) people who put recyclables in trash, or simply refuse to accept it. The problem is that MassDEP is vastly understaffed (and has been for years) so these kinds of things don't get enforced. If you want this, legislature needs to increase MassDEP funding a lot. The Patrick administration has cut it further.


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