In anticipation of bottle deposit legislation being introduced again in the 2015 Session, a group of MACo and county representatives met with a group of bottle deposit advocates earlier this summer to discuss how other jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have instituted bottle deposit programs. While not opposed to the per se concept of a bottle deposit, MACo has opposed bottle deposit legislation in the past over concerns about counties being responsible for running the deposit program and the potential fiscal impact on existing county recycling efforts.
The Artemis Group, a key stakeholder behind prior bottle deposit legislation, brought CM Consulting to the meeting. CM Consulting is Canadian-based environmental research firm that has studied bottle deposit efforts in various jurisdictions. CM Consulting provided a presentation discussing best practices for bottle deposits and highlighted case studies from other jurisdictions. The CM consultants did note however, that Maryland is relatively unique in that counties are the primary party responsible for recycling and that any statewide bottle deposit program would have to address county issues.
The information provided by CM Consulting and the Artemis Group will be reviewed and discussed by an internal zero waste workgroup that has been formed by MACo. Besides bottle deposits, the workgroup will examine other recycling and waste reduction issues, such as composting and gasification technologies.