As I have stated many times, bottle bills are inherently inefficient. Now we see that the bottle bill redemption centers in some locations are having trouble staying afloat. Why? Simply put, costs have risen (like everywhere else) and of course, the fees paid have not gone up.
To change the fees, state legislatures must change the law. This is a cumbersome process…as we all know.
In New York State, when bottle bill expansion was considered a number of years ago, I can remember environmental organizations supporting the concept. That is understandable. What I found interesting was their publicly stated anticipation of taking the unredeemed deposits for themselves…which was in the original bill.
OOPS, the legislature saw that pool of money and took it for state programs.
The problems with bottle bills have been enumerated here before. But in brief, while they are an attempt at advanced disposal fees…they are in fact a redundant system for the collection of materials that have an inherent market. Accordingly, those materials respond to the law of supply and demand…
However, a bottle bill is an artificial construct designed to solve a problem that does not exist..ie, develop a collection system for items that can be recycled and are collected.
The problems being faced by the bottle bill redemption centers are an example of a system that fails the economic test of sustainability…although I would prefer that the system fails the environmental test as well. But that is another discussion.
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Can and bottle redemption centers teeter on the edge of insolvency