Beginning this Monday, November 1, the residents of Hawaii will be charged 5 cents for every “bottle” of “beverage” they buy. Buy a six pack, whether it’s a plastic bottle or aluminum can, 6 x 5 = 30cents; buy a case, $1.20.
-Note- There is a two month delay before we can redeem our “bottles”. But this is not the question.
Is this true??
Will recycling make trash/litter disappear overnight??
Where I grew up in British Columbia, there was always a deposit/return on soda bottles and cans and it did make a difference, because people would go around picking up pop bottles, thus decreasing the litter. Now, BC has deposit/return on almost every beverage container known to man, including things like those tetra pack juice boxes that little kids drink all the time. When I go from Toronto to Vancouver, the difference in the amount of litter is obvious. Where they used to be similar, Vancouver is now much, much cleaner.
The reason for redemption centers? Typically supermarkets will set a limit on the number of bottles per individual they will accept each day: a large enough limit for a family of daily soda drinkers, but a small enough limit to discourage people with a shopping cart full of bottles gathered from the street.
greatly increased trash mess as homeless people ripped apart garbage cans and garbage bags set for pickup in order to find any bottles and cans
a near-impossibility for everyone but these professional bottle-collectors to redeem their own meager six-pack of bottles, since the pros would stand in huge lines with several garbage bags of bottles and cans each, meaning you, the average citizen would have to wait for a good half hour or more for your 30 cents
only a few retailers actually take returns, despite what the law says
redemption machines often broke down/filled up, and grocery store staff were hardly interested in jumping to fix them
In upstate NY, where the population density is much lower, the whole process is quite painless. But in a city, what a disaster.
We have this in Iowa. In general it’s a good thing. We have very little recycling around here except for cans and bottles, which people guard religiously. I wish we did this for everything. I can’t find a place that will take my other recyclables – one place in Ames did take newspapers, plastic, etc. for awhile then converted to a cans-only operation.
… At ten cents a bottle and ten cents a can, we’re pulling in five
hundred dollars a man.
Nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight bottle and cans in
the trunk, nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight bottles and cans.
We fill up with gas, we count up our cash!!..
Alberta (where I am now) must be on the the same program as BC, but I don’t notice any difference between Alberta and Toronto (where I lived up until a year ago).
Toronto and the communities in the Greater Toronto Area, were much easier: there was no deposit on most containers, and you put your bottles and cans out by the curb once a week, when the city came and picked them up for recycling. Except beer bottles and cans; those you returned to the Beer Store for your deposit.
Here, you pay a deposit on (as jacquilynne notes) almost every beverage container sold. Then, if you’re like our household, you save your beverage containers in a corner of the kitchen until the whole mess starts to overflow, when you return them to the redemption centre (a.k.a. The Bottle Depot)–a smelly, dirty, and dangerous place, due to the amount of broken glass on the floor. There, you have to stand in line breathing the stale beer fumes that exist in such places as the guys who work there sort and tally the crap of the sixteen people in front of you, all of whom are either professional bottle pickers or have been saving this stuff since 1998. There’s another hour of my life I won’t get back; and, in my experience, mistakes are frequently made on the tally, gypping you out of some of your money.
Gee–can you tell I really don’t like this system?
Anyway, that’s the oblique answer. To answer the OP more directly, this system won’t make trash and litter disappear. There is still plenty of paper trash lying around, and the bottle pickers do root through public trash cans and such, leaving spilled garbage behind to blow where the wind takes it. If there is one good thing to be said for it, it is that the Boy Scouts and similar organizations can make a little money going door-to-door, collecting unwanted bottles, and redeeming them themselves.
Here in Michigan the deposit law made a difference initially. I was a kid at the time, so looking for returnables when the law was new provided me with cash for a summer.
But there are so many things these days that aren’t returnable that it makes no sense. Milk, water, sports drinks, teas, pretty much anything that isn’t soda or beer carries no deposit. Don’t forget about really messy stuff like papers, bags, plastic. Our highways are pretty darn ugly. Luckily we have good “Adopt a Highway” program that keeps the roads from becoming very, very ugly.
Most of the big grocery stores have automated return stations now. They generally stick and aren’t all that hygienic, but some of them at least have wash areas or waterless hand cleaner and towels.
Also, it’s embarrasing returning $25 worth of Blue cans because I save them for so long. Everyone whispers quietly, “wow, what an alchy!”
So why do we keep it up? It’s a tax. The state keeps the difference between all deposits paid and refunded. The state’s never lost money. But the state complains about border dwellers bringing their returnables into Michigan because it doesn’t collect enough to keep happy*.*