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Legislative Committee Kills Updated Bottle Bill 7/30/12

On July 21, 2012 the Massachusetts Senate included an updated bottle bill and this caught the attention of both bottle bill enemies and supporters alike.  One of the supporters was Steve Spacek who wrote in congratulating the Massachusetts Senate.  Unfortunately, the celebrations were shortlived when a legislative committee killed the updated bottle bill by removing it from a pending jobs bill.

Dear Editor:
Congratulations to the Massachusetts Senate for passing an expansion of the container deposits law (“Massachusetts Senate Approves Bottle Bill,” July 21). This bill raises needed operating revenues while furthering removals of disease-transmitting debris and litter along public spaces.

Now, the House and Senate needs to consider bringing comprehensive recycling and litter-source taxation statewide, while perking up environmental protection allocations. By doing these, the Bay State can get back to being “best” in a future American State Litter Scorecard—a once-held status surrounding Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New York still possess.
Steve Spacek
Washington, District of Columbia
tel: 202-521-1489
Author, “American State Litter Scorecard”
Cited by THE GLOBE’s Derrick Z. Jackson—“Let’s Not Trash Our Roadways” June 15, 2010.

Legislative Committee Kills Updated Bottle Bill
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Excerpted from http://massbottlebill.blogspot.com/

Despite unprecedented and overwhelming public support, on July 30, a legislative committee killed the updated bottle bill by removing it from a pending jobs bill.

"Sadly it's becoming clearer that big business is dictating how Beacon Hill votes,” said James McCaffrey of the Sierra Club. “The bottlers and other big beverage interests trumped the people, the environment and the facts on this one."

Although the Senate included the bottle bill update in its version of the jobs bill, the House did not. Last evening, the Joint Conference Committee, which reconciled the differences between the House and Senate Jobs bill, filed its conference report, which struck the amendment.  The Updated Bottle Bill would have added water, juice, sports drinks and similar beverage containers to the current deposit law, which stands as the most effective recycling measure in the state.

With the support of 77% of the public, 208 cities and towns, Governor Patrick, and a majority of legislators, the measure should have been swiftly adopted. "Instead of Massachusetts taking home the gold medal, by disqualifying the public's opinion, the legislature gives us more litter, more waste, and less recycling." said Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG.

Posted: July 31, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

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