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May 10 - DE Bottle Bill Abolishment to be Heard on House Floor Tomorrow

A bill that would abolish Delaware's bottle bill and replace it with a nonrefundable charge on beverage containers will be heard on the House Floor tomorrow, May 11.  

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May 7 - IL - Illinois Passes State Mercury Thermostat Collection Act

Illinois recently passed SB 3346, Mercury Thermostat Collection Act, requiring manufacturers to collect and recycle the mercury in older thermostats. Under this new law, manufacturers must establish an out-of-service mercury thermostat collection program and must meet goals to collect and safely dispose of mercury thermostats that have been removed from homes and other buildings. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with monitoring collection programs.

Each mercury thermostats contains about four grams of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that has been shown to cause loss of IQ and may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to the bill's House sponsor, Representative Karen May:
"We know the dangers that mercury poses to public health, especially for mothers and young children. This bill makes Illinois a healthier place to live."

View the press release.

See Illinois's E-waste Campaign

May 7 - NY - White Pages May Go Way of Rotary-Dialed Phone

According to the New York Times, Verizon has asked regulators to allow Verizon to stop distributing White Pages to New York residents. Verizon asserts that only 1 in 9 household still look at White Pages, as a majority of residents have moved to looking up information on the internet or calling directory assistance. The company estimates it would save nearly 5,000 tons of paper by ending the practice of automatically distributing White Pages. Residents can still receive White Pages, upon request, for free in print or CD form.

Verizon has a similar request before regulators in New Jersey. In some states, including Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and Georgia, AT&T has already received approval to stop delivering White Pages to all residents.

There are currently two states with pending Phone book legislations:

In California, SB 920 by Senator Yee, would make it easier for consumers to opt-out of receiving unwanted directories by requiring telephone directory publishers to prominently display an opt-out phone number on the front cover. This bill is up in Senate Appropriations committee on monday 5/17.

Minnesota HF 170 is an opt-in legislation for White Pages. It was amended and returned Commerce and Labor as on Feb 19th.

May 6 - National Center for Electronics Recycling Shows 8% Increase in Electronics Collection Rates in 2009

National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), a national nonprofit organization that  tracks per capita collection index (PCCI) for electronics recycling programs, saw an increase of 8% in PCCI over 2008. The PCCI is an annual measure of collection volumes of used electronic equipment in six ongoing electronics recycling programs across the United States.  Overall, every established recycling program have increased their collection volume, except for California, which decreased due to market disruption for CRT glass.

The increased in e-waste collection volume overall shows that consumers are both becoming more aware of the need to properly recycle their unwanted electronics and finding increased availability of collection programs.

View the press release. 

See if your state has an e-waste law or if there is pending legislation.

May 6 - US - Graduates Have Green Options When Buying Gowns

College graduates now have options when it comes to buying their caps and gowns for their commencement ceremonies.

Many companies are offering biodegradable gowns and reusable gowns made from recycled plastic bottles as an alternative to the classic yet unsustainable petroleum-based polyester gowns.

The gowns made from recycled bottles are thinner and softer, and when reused by generations of graduates, they reduce the build up of plastic bottles in the country's landfills.

Read the entire article here.

May 5 - MD - Baltimore Proposes Tax on Beverage Containers as Means to Raise Revenue for City

A proposal in Baltimore, Maryland to impose a 4-cent tax on beverage containers passed the city's Taxation Finance Committee on May 3. 

The tax would be imposed on distributors of all beverage containers with an excemption for milk and related products, beverages wtih 10% natural fruit juice, and any beverage in a container of 2 liters or larger.  The tax is expected to generate $11.4 million in revenue to help cut the city's budget deficit.

Baltimore's proposal falls on the heels of legislation recently introduced in Delaware that would create a 4-cent tax on non-aluminous beverage containers for 4 years. 

The proposal will be heard by the full Baltimore City Council in the next few weeks. 

Read the text of the proposal.

Read an article.



May 5 - DE - Delaware's Proposal to Repeal Bottle Bill Passes House Committee, Moves to House Floor. Take Action!

The Delaware House Natural Resources Committee passed Senate Bill 234 on May 5.  SB 234 proposes to repeal the state's long-standing Bottle Bill and replace it with a temporary tax on non-aluminous beverage containers as a means to help fund start-up costs related to curbside recycling.

If Delaware were to reform its Bottle Bill, rather than rescind it, the state could permanently fund curbside and other recycling programs and promote higher recycling levels of beverage containers.  Learn more about SB 234 and how you can tell the Delaware Legislature to amend the proposal.

Apr 29 - DE - Proposal to Repeal Delaware Bottle Bill Passes Senate, Moves to House

The Delaware Senate passed SB 234 today, a measure that proposes to repeal the state Bottle Bill and replace it with a temporary tax on non-aluminum beverage containers.

While the Delaware Senate may be trying to encourage higher recycling levels, repealing the Bottle Bill will only result in lower recycling  rates of beverage containers and less funding for other recycling programs, such as curbside recycling, than the state would otherwise receive if it were to amend the Bottle Bill instead of repealing it.

Learn more about SB 234 and how you can tell the Delaware Legislature to NOT repeal the Bottle Bill.

Apr 29 - HI - Proposal to Include Energy Drinks in Hawaii Bottle Bill Passes Both Houses in Hawaii Legislature

House Bill 2239 (Morita) has passed both the Hawaii Senate and House of Representatives.  The bill would include dietary supplements, such as increasingly popular energy drinks, in those beverage containers covered under the Hawaii Bottle Bill.

Read more.

Apr 29 - NY - Bottle Bill's Inclusion of Water Bottles Increases Recycling Exponentially

Within six months of the amendment to the NY Bottle Bill, in which the list of accepted plastic containers now includes water bottles, recycling levels have increased immensely. 

Local recycling businesses are growing in New York to process the expanding rates of recycled plastics which creates more jobs and revenue going to the state.

This is just another example that state-wide bottle bills are a more effective way to produce higher recycling rates than any other waste program available. 

To learn more about how bottle bills work, click here.

To read the entire New York article, click here.

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