Tennessee Bottle Bill

...your resources pertaining to pending Volunteer State beverage container anti-litter legislation, protection of Tennessee children from beverage container litter-related injuries, and spotlighting the Tennessee "pro-beverage container litter" politcal action committee money trees.


March 22: legislative process moves forward with two Tennessee Bottle Bills.

The Scenic Tennessee Tennessee Bottle Bill Project web site is posting that bottle bill legislation will be brought before Tennessee General Assembly house subcommittee on Wednesday, March 22.

SB3629/HB3347: information provided by the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project states that the first of two Tennessee Bottle Bill proposals --- Senate Bill 3629 / House Bill 3347 --- requires that all dealers operate a redemption center unless they are: located within two miles of an independent redemption center; or have less than 5,000 sq. ft. of interior space; or sell beverages only out of vending machines; or subcontract with an independent redemption center (including reverse vending machines) operating on their premises; or subcontract with a mobile redemption center; or provide a satellite drop-off site serving a centralized processing facility; or can show various physical or financial hardships as defined by the commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation; or meet various other criteria as defined the commissioner.

SB3616/HB3350: the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project also reports that the other version of the Tennessee Bottle Bill, "...Senate Bill 3616 / House Bill 3350, does not require any dealers to operate a redemption center. They may do so, but they are not required to. Like the other version, this one also authorizes the use of reverse vending machines, mobile redemption centers and satellite drop-off sites."

Also from the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project legislation page:
"The "Tennessee Beverage Container Deposit Act of 2006" (House Bill 3350 / Senate Bill 3616) has been put on the calendar of the House Government Operations Committee for Wednesday, March 22. The committee meets from 10 am to 11 am. If it does not get to the bottle bill in that hour, the bill will be "rolled" to the next week.

Strictly speaking, the job of this committee is simply to review the bill's rulemaking provisions before refering it to the next committee (Local Government Subcommittee of the House State and Local Government Committee). However, we're told that the committee often debates the merits of a bill before sending it along. In other words, though they cannot stop the bill, members of this committee can set a tone, and it's to our advantage that that tone be positive. So please, if you have time, contact the committee members (listed below), urging their support.

And having done that, please do the same for members of the State and Local Government Committee [email links to the Tennessee House Members of the S&L Local Government subcommittee are post at this bog], because they CAN stop the bill.

Be sure to visit the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project legislation web page for complete contact information for your elected representatives within Tennessee General Assembly --- be sure have these bill numbers SB3616/HB3350 and SB3629/HB3347 at hand before making your telephone calls to Nashville.


Congressional Research Service 93-114
Must Read 1993 Bottle Bill Report

National Library for the Environment (NLE) _
A universal, timely, and easy-to-use single-point entry to environmental information and data for the use of all participants in the environmental enterprise.

Congressional Research Service Reports [1993]
Redistributed as a Service of the NLE* CRS Reports
93-114 - Bottle Bills and Curbside Recycling: Are they Compatible?
27-Jan-1993; James McCarthy; 34 p.

Abstract: In recent years, both curbside collection and deposit/refund (or "bottle bill") programs have been used to collect materials for recycling. In 1991, both served about 30% of the U.S. population. Along with many other measures, both methods may have a role to play in a comprehensive recycling program. Neither method excludes the use of the other. Nevertheless, many wish to compare the merits of the two systems as alternatives. This report compares the merits of curbside and deposit programs in three respects: amount of material collected; quality of material collected; and financial aspects. The report concludes that: Comparisons between the two systems are difficult to make. Key data (such as the cost of collecting materials) are often not publicly available and can be greatly affected by methodological assumptions. The two methods are not designed to serve exactly the same purposes. In addition to promoting recycling, deposit-refund systems reduce litter generation and make possible the use of refillable beverage containers. Curbside programs, on the other hand, can target a wider range of materials than a deposit system, and thus have the potential to achieve a greater diversion of waste for recycling. Curbside programs are more common in deposit States than in non-deposit States: 43% of the population has access to curbside recycling in deposit States, versus 22% of the population in non-deposit States. Thus, enactment of a bottle bill does not appear to prevent operation of curbside programs. Deposit systems collect more of their target materials than do curbside programs. Return rates in deposit systems range from 72% to 98%. The best curbside programs collect less than 70% of the targeted material -- in many cases, substantially less. Because the bottles and cans are sorted and handled individually when returned to retailers, the materials collected by deposit systems are generally of a higher quality than curbside materials, particularly if the latter are commingled during collection. Deposit-refund systems cost more to operate on a per-ton-collected basis. These additional costs are internalized in product prices. Curbside systems, while costing less, depend on tax revenues, making the ability to maintain or expand levels of curbside service dependent on local government budgets. Deposit systems "skim" potential sources of revenue from curbside programs, but they also reduce operating costs of curbside collection and processing. Studies suggest that local governments would achieve a greater diversion of solid waste from disposal at a lower cost per ton if both a bottle bill and a curbside collection program were in place.

must read report http://www.cnie.org/nle/crsreports/pollution/plgen-3.cfm

Topics: Pollution

* These CRS reports were produced by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress providing nonpartisan research reports to members of the House and Senate. The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has made these reports available to the public at large, but the Congressional Research Service is not affiliated with the NCSE or the National Library for the Environment (NLE). This web site is not endorsed by or associated with the Congressional Research Service. The material contained in the CRS reports does not necessarily express the views of NCSE, its supporters, or sponsors. The information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. NCSE disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall NCSE be liable for any damages.

Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council:
More Fun Than a Barrel Full of Monkeys

Environmental Division
Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council

Suite 400 James K. Polk Office Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0333
Shawn A. Bible, Manager

In 1989 the Governor’s Office [actually the former beer distributor and Tennessee Governor Ned Ray McWherter] issued Executive Order # 28, establishing the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council (KTBC) and endorsing the Keep America Beautiful System. The original Council served from 1989 until 1993. The Council has been recently resurrected and the new Council members met for an orientation session on January 27 & 28, 1998. The goals of KTBC are:

  1. Guide the direction of the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Program/University of Memphis.
  2. Promote and support Keep America System affiliates.
  3. Promote and support local volunteer actions for litter reduction and waste handling.

The Department of Transportation feels strongly that the Council’s work will have a great impact on the future of litter and solid disposal in Tennessee.

For more information concerning the work of the Council, please call Shawn A. Bible at (615) 532.3488 or fax your requests to (615) 532.5995.

The following are a few questions that you can forward to Ms. Bible:

  1. Why doesn't your Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council web site list the names all of the active KTBC members;
  2. email and telephone contact information for each KTBC member;
  3. city and county residence for each KTBC member;
  4. business, industry, government agency, and/or non-profit organization represented by each KTBC member, and;
  5. the total amount of TDOT funding allocated to provide for administrative (e.g salary of KTBC manager), technical, and clerical support of the KTBC?


Patricia's Porch Talk: Ninety-Nine Bottles

Patricia's Porch Talk: Ninety-Nine Bottles
by Patricia Paris
posted February 10, 2006

Patricia Paris
"Take one down, pass it around?!"

Tradition is defined as "generation to generation transfer with no official encouragement," much like the camp songs of our youth.

The Ninety-Nine Bottles song is so old I was unable to track its origins, save a couple of "writer unknown" footnotes, yet it remains alive and lively. Do you think its author would have written the lyrics differently in USA 2006, fingers flying on a keyboard under the spotlight of a gooseneck halogen desk lamp instead of the laborious transfer of ink to quill to parchment? Would a modern songwriter of a song about bottles not grow weary of those repetitive lyrics and write instead about the growing number of bottles tossed into lakes and on roadsides, or left strewn in public parks? Would plastic shopping bags and super-sized drinking cups not be included in the song as well?

Some states have taken a huge bite out of their trash heaps by proposing a deposit on bottles. They guessed correctly that many intelligent, reasonable people would religiously round up their bottles and return them if it would put money in their pockets. With the passing of bottle bills, gathering and returning bottles provides a source of income for the needy, the greedy, and your everyday budget-conscious citizen, while diminishing the number of unsightly bottles and cans along rivers, roadsides, and parks as much as 50 percent.

Rep. Russell Johnson and Sen. Randy McNally are once again trying to combat this growing problem by drafting a new version of the bottle bill that includes several changes from the 2005 bill. The 2006 bill stipulates that $10 million of unclaimed deposits will go to the County Litter Grants Program, increases the container handling fee to 3¢, and increases the maximum container size to two liters. It boggles the mind wondering how this bill was ever defeated in 2005. Pickup programs haven't been able to compete with the growing trash heaps. Educating the public apparently hasn't worked either; the trash is still there and at unacceptable levels.

The bottle bill is not to be confused with a tax. It is not a tax. In simple terms, it means that many bottles will never hit the ground and that for every bottle-tossing jerk, someone much smarter will come along and not only pick behind them (at no expense to us) but also make a few cents on it. The proposed deposit would apply to beer and soft drinks as well as bottled water, juices, and sports drinks with the resultant goal, based on existing programs, of boosting Tennessee's overall redemption rate to as much as 70-80 percent.

If you, the concerned citizens of our beautiful state, share these concerns, I hope you will speak out by expressing them to your legislators.

The Bottles On The Wall camp song will be around for many generations to come, but perhaps a young, poetic mind will pen a litter-free version that collects the deposit on all ninety-nine.

Copyright © 2006 Patricia Paris
Contact: patriciaparis@gmail.com
Patricia Paris is an author/columnist from East Tennessee
Tennessee Mountain Writers;
Int'l Women Writers Association;
Tennessee Writers Alliance;
Chattanooga Writers Guild.


Low-life Litterbugs: Some Truckers Using Milk Jugs as Throw-Away Urinals

‘Urine trouble,’ some states warn truckers
Tens of thousands of ‘trucker bombs’ litter roads

By Miguel Llanos

Updated: 4:00 p.m. ET June 2, 2005

SEATTLE — Roadside litter comes in all shapes and sizes — from dirty diapers to syringes — but there's one category that out-grosses the rest: trucker bombs.

Most drivers whiz along the nation's highways largely oblivious to their roadside surroundings. But next time you are out there, take a closer look.

"As soon as you look for it you’ll see it," says Megan Warfield, litter programs coordinator at Washington state's Department of Ecology. "You just see them glistening in the sun. It’s just gross."

They are trucker bombs, plastic jugs full of urine tossed by truckers, and even non-truckers, who refuse to make a proper potty stop to relieve themselves.

The state hasn't counted how many such jugs are found each year, but a single, small county decided to do its own tally. "In one year," Warfield says, "one crew found 2,666 bottles of urine, 67 feces covered items, not including diapers, and 18 syringes."

It even happens at rest stops. "That’s the mystery," Warfield says. "There’s a bathroom right there, there’s also a trash can."