In another effort to boost recycling in Washington, a group of state legislators is advocating for a bill that would create a new system for recycling bottles and cans. House Bill 2144 would establish a deposit return system for plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminum cans. Customers would pay a 10-cent bottle deposit, upon purchasing a bottled or canned beverage. Once the containers are empty, customers could bring them to drop-off locations at grocery stores and other retailers to receive a refund slip. For each bottle returned, customers would get 10 cents.
“I think there’s always some questions and concerns about putting glass in curbside recycling,” said Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, a cosponsor of the legislation. Residents in Peterson’s 21st Legislative District, encompassing neighborhoods in Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood and Mukilteo, are a “strong environmental constituency,” he said. He believes people will feel relieved using a deposit return system, knowing their bottles are more likely to become bottles again.
But representatives of waste management facilities said the bill would undermine curbside recycling services and inconvenience residents. “We would still be running trucks and picking up materials,” said Brad Lovaas, executive director of the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association. “But the materials we’ll be picking up will be less valuable.”