SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A group supported by the food and beverage industry wants to get rid of Massachusetts' 5-cent deposit on cans and bottles, in exchange for a new recycling program.
"I think getting rid of that would probably have a negative effect on recycling," said Cynthia Melcher of Three Rivers.
Real Recycling for Massachusetts wants to phase out the state's bottle bill in exchange for another recycling program. They hope a 'pay-as-you-throw' method might encourage people to reduce their trash by recycling as much as possible.
"I think there's room for both projects there. Once you get in the habit it's just as easy to make sure your house recyclables go on the curb and taking the cans back to the grocery store," said Mark Rodowicz of Chicopee.
The five-cent bottle deposit on cans and bottles has been in place for nearly thirty years. But most communities today offer curbside and drop-off programs for recyclables.
Some people think lugging back a bag of empties is a big hassle for a small reward but others worry what would happen if it wasn't a available.
"If you don't recycle now I don't think you'd recycle. I think more people would be apt to throw it away rather than take it back or recycle it," said Michele Czupta of Goodies Convenience Store in Agawam.
"I don't think most people are doing it for the environment, I think they're doing it for the monetary value so you'll probably see a lot more trash out there," said Jim Kantany of J. Polep Distribution.
Democratic senator Michael Moore of Millbury filed the legislation to get rid of the bottle bill. Lawmakers also expect to see efforts to expand the bottle bill this session, like updates to cover new containers.
The 5-cent deposit would be replaced with a 1-cent fee, paid by distributors and bottlers, that would be used to pay for the new recycling program.