Statement of VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns on Senate’s 22-7 Vote to Kill Expanded Bottle Bill
Friday, April 20, 2012 — Just as people around Vermont and across the country are marking the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, Vermont state senators have voted to kill a proposal to expand Vermont’s most successful recycling law — the Bottle Bill.
As a result of the Senate’s 22-7 vote today, nearly one hundred million cans and bottles will end up in landfills or as roadside litter over the course of the next year when they could otherwise have been recycled under an expanded Bottle Bill recycling program.
The Bigger Better Bottle Bill is supported by more than four out of five Vermonters according to scientific polling conducted by VPIRG last year. Indeed, this year’s “Doyle Poll” confirms that finding of tremendous public support.
VPIRG applauds the efforts of those senators who stood by the Natural Resources and Energy Committee’s original decision to endorse the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. These environmental champions include Sen. Joe Benning, Sen. Anthony Pollina, Sen. Mark MacDonald and Sen. Peter Galbraith.
This vote marks a sad and hopefully temporary departure from the strong environmental ethic typically demonstrated by the Senate. It will result in more recyclable materials being wasted in landfills, more litter on roadsides and more greenhouse gas emissions. All of this could have been avoided by supporting the Bigger Better Bottle Bill while expanding other state recycling programs.
On this Earth Day 2012, the Senate struck out on a soft ball.