Letter: A surprisingly bad idea to increase recycling
By William Keegan, Vice President, Dem-Con Companies, and Chairman, Minnesota Chapter, National Waste & Recycling Association Shakopee
Do the real math on the proposed container deposit system and you’ll find that a bottle bill costing more than $219 million a year will only get us an extra 2 percent on top of our total recycling rate of 46 percent. That’s because beverage containers make up only about 4 percent of all trash generated in the state. When we put this in perspective of the overall recycling rate, container deposit only gets us from 46 percent to 48 percent.
So after we invest $219 million in a duplicative recycling system that requires residents to sort out bottles and cans, drive them to a redemption center, sort them again, get them counted and get the deposits back, the result is a 2 percent increase in recycling?
Right, it’s ludicrous. It’s really just a tax — a tax that will be used to pay for new redemption and processing centers and a costly “Beverage Container Recycling Organization” that will have taxing authority to raise fees for yet unidentified costs.
And, by the way, there will be limited redemption centers in Greater Minnesota, maybe one per county. So will senior citizens and busy parents spend the time, gas money and effort to cart these materials halfway across the county to redeem their bottles and cans? Probably not. Again, it’s just a tax.
So, listen to the experts: the private recycling industry. We have made recycling convenient and easy through Single Sort recycling, and we need to expand these programs throughout Minnesota. So why change a good thing by making it more difficult — the cost surely isn’t worth the benefit.