Don’t require deposit on cans, bottles

To the editor:

Democrats are pushing a plan to require Minnesotans to pay a 10 cent deposit on almost all beverage containers. While seemingly well intentioned, this proposal will result in reducing recycling rates, wasting the time of consumers and costing them more money.

Under their plan, you pay more to purchase milk, pop, and almost all beverages in a container. In order to get money back, people must sort and separate cans and bottles, and store them where they can attract bugs and rodents until they are returned to a “redemption center” to be partly or fully refunded for the up-front cost.

Contrast this with a system many Minnesotans already utilize called “single-sort recycling.” Under single-sort recycling, all recyclables (not just glass and aluminum, but also newspapers, junk mail, plastic, cardboard, etc.) into one collection basket. A local recycler picks up the recycling along with trash. Simple. Cost effective. And, yes, good for the environment. Last year the city of Minneapolis went to single-sort recycling and reported a 63 percent increase in the recycling rate.

Recyclers currently help pay for this single-sort recycling by selling scrap aluminum. Removing that revenue stream would no longer allow for single-sort recycling to be cost effective. This will result in more newspaper, cardboard, and plastic going into landfills as opposed to these items being recycled.

Requiring extra costs and creating a new bureaucracy to oversee a program to facilitate the recycling of bottles and cans would be a great deal for those who want more government, but not for the citizens who recycle, and not for the environment. Replacing a convenient and effective system like single-sort recycling is likely to reduce recycling as it inconveniences consumers. This is another example of Democrats seeking to grow government at taxpayers’ cost, without considering the unintended consequences.

Call public officials and urge them to reject the Democrats’ attempt to increase the price paid for milk, pop, and other beverages. Single-sort recycling makes recycling easy, convenient and cost effective. Democrats need to get the message to not send this environmentally responsible idea to the political landfill.

Rep. Pat Garofalo
R-Farmington, District 58B