Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bay Staters don’t want their nickel back

According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts residents are just chucking away bottles and cans rather than gather them up for the 5-cent deposit: “Is it still worth it for a nickel? Return rate declining for bottle, can deposits”:

Is the bottle deposit law half empty or half full?

That's the question that came to mind last week after the state Revenue Department released preliminary figures showing another drop in bottle and can returns.

The figures indicate consumers returned and recovered their nickel deposits on 65.7 percent of the 2.2 billion bottles and cans they purchased during the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's the lowest percentage since the bottle deposit law took effect in 1983 and way off the peak of 87 percent in 1995.
I wonder what special new law will be passed by the busybodies on Beacon Hill to force us to recycle. Save Gaia!


Anonymous said...

I dunno. How about a massive tracking system with a lot of paperwork you have to fill out when you buy cans and bottles that have a deposit and then you have to prove you've returned them before you can buy more? GPS tags on returnables with unique identifiers so they can be tracked both physically and as to 'owner' or 'buyer' who is responsible for them? 'Returnable search warrants' that allow them to kick in your door and check for non-returned returnables?

B.O. Degradable said...

What a bureaucratic travesty, only 1.4 billion bottles and cans got recycled. In a year. Within a single U.S. state. Total failure!

Intelligent observers agree: let's ditch the whole thing! 30+ billion since 1983, zero... what's the diff?

Anonymous said...

"Recycling is garbage" - John Tierney in the NY Times

Dave Wissing said...

Has the deposit rate changed since 1983? I assume that the 5 cents per can is added into the consumer cost of the can at purchase and it would behoove someone to return the cans to get that money back. Obviously 5 cents in 1983 was worth a lot more than 5 cents is today. It seems a simple hike of the deposit would help solve part of the problem.