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Expand Bottle Bill, reap the harvest

Hundreds of the streets that make up neighborhoods in and around Boston are littered with garbage. This lack of consideration for the environment greatly lowers the quality of life in these neighborhoods. In my town of Mattapan there are at least three garbage cans dispersed throughout the community, yet for some reason there is more trash littering the streets than there is in the actual trash bins. Recycling doesn’t need to be seen as a task that requires immense effort.

If we expand the Bottle Bill we can recycle enough containers to fill up Fenway Park to the Monster seats. This small act would eliminate huge amounts of litter, allowing citizens to have less of a negative impact on our environment. Massachusetts should set the standard for the rest of the country to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but it takes the voice of the people to make a difference. Express your concern for the future of your community and encourage change by writing a letter to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Laurie Burt, at 1 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108.


Erica’s comments on supporting the amendments to the Bottle Bill highlight an important way to increase recycling in Massachusetts. In Boston, there’s another way to show support. Last month I authored a City Council resolution in support of updating the Massachusetts Bottle Bill and I will be holding a hearing in September on the issue for the Boston City Council’s Committee on Environment and Health. The Bottle Bill was drafted more than twenty–five years ago and no longer reflects contemporary market and consumer behavior. There are many new drinks available such as waters, sports drinks, and juices that are not covered by the current Bottle Bill. The update is a great opportunity to increase recycling and reduce litter. It has been estimated that it would increase recycling from the current rate of 20% of non-covered containers to as high as 80%, which would raise revenue for the Commonwealth and create jobs in the recycling sector. This resolution will demonstrate Boston’s support to the State Legislature, especially if it is passed unanimously by the Council. Please contact your City Councillors and let them know of your support.

Erica makes excellent points. An update to the state's bottle bill will increase recycling and decrease litter.

However, to support the Bottle Bill update, contact your State Representative and State Senator. If you're unsure who they are, visit www.wheredoivotema.com.

-- Phil Sego
Massachusetts Sierra Club