December 2004 Home   Newsletters

January 2005

February 2005

President's Message (Jackie Parnell)
Vote Count Help Needed (Arlene Ellis)
Charter Commission (Evangeline Funk & Piilani Kaopuiki)
On Social Security - Just the Facts, Please (Jean Aoki)
In Memoriam
Pay Attention to Rail Bills (Pearl Johnson)
Working for Clean Elections
Bottle Bill (Pearl Johnson)
Call for Nominations for State Board

Bottle Bill

The implementation of the bottle bill is such a mess that industry critics who fought its passage can now call for its repeal. I suppose that makes implementation a success.

When Linda Lingle first announced she was going to run for governor, she said she would work to repeal the just-passed bottle bill. Just 100 days before recycling fees were to start, the Sierra Club said in a press release: To manage the logistics of the bottle law, such as labeling, material flows, and management, six additional Department of Health staff were slated to be hired. As of September 22nd, the approval to hire the new positions was still pending authorization from the Governor. Specifics regarding the setting up of redemption centers by recyclers, the process for labeling unlabeled containers, and contracting staff with the counties were still unsettled.

One of Leagues bedrock principles is promoting recycling. Hawaiis 20% rate of recycling should rise to about 80 % of beverage containers if redemptions center were run right. Even an opponent of the law, Ed Thompson of the Hawaii Food Industry Association, says the bill will reduce the volume to the landfill by only 7 percent. On an island with big landfill problems, 7 percent looks good.

The 10 states with bottle bill laws have never seriously considered repealing them. A February 2004 survey of New York residents found that 84% support their 22-year old bottle law. We must vigilantly protect our bottle law and demand its efficient implementation.

Pearl Johnson

[this article did not appear in the print edition]

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