Citizens call for expanded Bottle Bill

Champagne: Bottle bill needs to be part of new recycling regs

Reposted from VT Digger

By Beth Champagne, a member of the North Country Coalition for Justice and Peace in St. Johnsbury who writes on environmental, climate change, farming and energy issues.

Clearly and calmly, one after another, Vermonters challenged the Agency of Natural Resources at a public hearing Tuesday, Aug. 20, on expanded recycling under Act 148, demanding a rewrite of the proposal for moving toward a “zero waste” society in which at least twice as much would be recycled rather than landfilled.

From a Seventh Generation employee to a Barre resident to the general manager of the Chittenden Solid Waste facility to a VPIRG staff member, the call for more time, less bias, and much more thorough research was loud and clear. Strongly supporting the expansion of Vermont’s bottle bill, and “excited by the bold vision” legislators offered in Act 148, speakers panned the bias, lack of objectivity, assumptions and inadequate data in the draft report.

This project involves “complex math and complex concepts,” said Tom Moreau of Chittenden Solid Waste District. Moreau called for a couple of months more time to review the draft, in order to have to it “done right,” and not just done.

This project involves “complex math and complex concepts,” said Tom Moreau of Chittenden Solid Waste District. Moreau called for a couple of months more time to review the draft, in order to have to it “done right,” and not just done.

“Why undo the bottle bill, which has worked so successfully for so many years?” asked Martin Wolf of Seventh Generation, which manufacturers recycled paper products in Vermont. “I hope we will move forward, not backwards.”

Added Ginny Callan of East Montpelier, speaking as a citizen, “DSM [a Vermont firm] testified against the bottle bill in 2011. I don’t think they should have been hired to do this review!”

Act 148 would ban food waste, woody brush and yard waste, as well as manufactured recyclables (glass, metal cans, plastic bottles, newspaper, etc.) from landfills, requiring recycling instead. It’s a huge proposal, and comments are due no later than Saturday, Aug. 30, to the ANR. But the 10-day period does not allow citizens nearly enough time to read and respond to the draft report, many insisted.

Do you want a thoroughly examined proposal for recycling “waste,” creating green jobs, and strengthening Vermont’s economy?

If so, write now to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources if you would like time to read through the draft report and offer comments.

Contact Bryn Oakleaf (bryn.oakleaf@state.vt.us) at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to ask for a 30-day extension of the public comment period on the Draft Systems Analysis report, and to request a copy of the draft report.

– See more at: http://vtdigger.org/2013/08/22/champagne-bottle-bill-needs-to-be-part-of-new-recycling-regs/#sthash.3ylmYl4q.dpuf