Why doesn't Washington have a deposti on bottle & cans ?

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    When I walk around I see so many discarded bottle and cans littering the state. I thought we where supposed to be an earth conscious green state. Even if some people still chose to avoid returning them to redeem there deposit I am sure some homeless folks and kids would collect them for the profit.



    I also asked this question on Reddit-Seattle and found this response interesting if true.

    from wikipedia… Washington State Latter 1970’s (5¢) aluminum can and (10¢) glass bottle return voted for and unanimously passed. Before implementation, state lawmakers repealed the law stating publicly that Washington State voters did not know what they had voted for. Mostly due to lobbying by large recycling companies not wanting to lose profits.



    As much as I think it is a good way for the homeless and lower income people to make some cash, and possibly a way to increase recycling, it invites intrusive behavior to our side and backyards. Was not a problem in that way in NYC, but does increase trash on the streets because of ripped open bags. Here, at least the recycles must be in containers.

    So, I am conflicted.



    Street people do collect aluminum cans and sell them by the pound to local metal recycling companies. Not sure how much they make, but we see this happening around Capitol Hill more than Ballard. They travel the alleys digging through the recycle bins, smash the cans and haul them away. It’s pretty common in NYC too. A film was made about it a couple of years ago.



    Temporarily, I am in California, a state with a CRV on beverage bottles. Trust me, the tax doesn’t reduce littering – there is litter, including bottles and cans, all over the place. The average consumer doesn’t return the container for the .05 deposit. The ‘deposit’ is taken everywhere. Return locations are few and far between. The closest one to my house is three miles away in a location not really on the way to anyplace I go regularly. So I am not going to pop by to collect by .30 for an empty six pack. My yard is small and I don’t want to collect containers until I have enough to justify a separate a trip. So like most people, I put them in the recycle container. Sometimes they are picked up by scavengers. And scavengers come by at night, make a lot of noise and wake me as they go through containers. Scavenging is illegal, so from time to time there are ‘stings’ and these poor folks are given tickets! Scavenging levels seem down lately. I think it has more to do with the salvage price that cans and glass are getting more than anything else. There are mountains of recyclables in our country looking for their next life.

    Back in the day, I remember that bottle deposit end-run. What jerks! Even though I’ve changed my mind about the effectiveness of the deposit, it doesn’t change my opinion that our legislators were sell-outs.



    BH, anyone can make a wiki post – the ballot was rejected by the voters of Washington state

    Washington Initiative 61 (1979)

    Shall a system requiring a minimum five cent refund on sales of beer, malt and carbonated beverage containers be established?

    Result Defeated

    No 57.63%
    Yes 42.37%
    this is available from the state archives

    Also it was brought back in 1982 as Initiative 414

    Shall a system requiring a minimum five cent refund on sales of beer, malt and carbonated beverage containers be established?

    it was defeated by a 71% vote



    Re BuffleHawk’s comment on the 1979 initiative. How could an initiative unanimously pass? That would mean every single voter voted for it. Ballotpedia also shows the 1979 initiative was defeated. I have lived in Oregon and Washington and I greatly prefer the recycling the way we have it here in Seattle. In the long run I think more gets recycled because it is easy. Returning bottles and cans was a big pain. I did it but I much prefer our current method.



    I took that that to mean it passed in each county. But that’s a stretch considering our typical east/west divide.

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