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'A Penny Isn't Enough'

June 09, 1988

As you pointed out in your editorial, the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act was a long overdue compromise negotiated with factions in this state which battled for 20 years over the "bottle bill" law.

Our organization and its member played an instrumental role in the drafting of this law and are now deeply involved in its implementation. From both perspectives, we believe strongly that this law is the most innovative and progressive approach in the nation to recycling beer and soft drink containers.

Your editorial expresses concern about the recent closing of several of the new recycling centers set up under the law and surmises that this is because a 1-cent refund on containers is not a sufficient incentive for citizens to recycle.

In reality, the closing of the centers is a natural part of business attrition due to an excessive supply for the market's demand. The state originally projected the need for 1,700 redemption centers and, to date, over 2,400 have been set up. Therefore, a certain number of closures are to be expected due to this excess and normal competition.

Your editorial was also correct in noting that convenience is the key to motivating citizens to recycle. This is exactly why this law is so worthwhile--and important. It has set up over 2,000 new recycling centers for public use and many accept other materials as well.

Finally, the most critical element in ensuring that this new law is a success is not an increase in the redemption rate, but to increase public awareness and this should be the primary focus now. Once people are aware of the many environmental benefits of the law, they will be motivated to recycle.




Sherman Oaks

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