President's Message (Jackie Parnell)|
We Must Make Bottle Bill Work (Pearl Johnson)
League Supports Legacy Lands Act (Pearl Johnson)
Kenneth Starr Debates
Social Security Revisited (Pearl Johnson)
We Must Make Bottle Bill Work
Industry critics who fought the passage of the bottle bill called its implementation a mess but what is one to expect when there is a lack of support from the head of this administration.
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."
Now Larry Lau, deputy director of the responsible implementing agency, the Department of Health, can testify that there are better ways to deal with recycling and litter. He can call the bill faulty. As the Star-Bulletin editorial says, "To declare the law unworkable when it has not yet been fully implemented would thwart the effort that has widespread support."
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.
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