Counties on Bottle Deposit Program: What Happens Next?

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified February 26, 2020 in the House Environment & Transportation Committee to oppose HB 824 – Beverage Container Deposit Program – Establishment and Advisory Commission. This bill would require that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) establish a statewide container deposit program by September 1, 2021.

MACo raised its concerns that a bottle deposit program would divert commodities from county recycling programs with no guarantee of fiscal assistance to those counties and potentially confuse consumers who have been educated to utilize curbside and single stream recycling programs.

From the MACo Testimony:

The complex fiscal and operational underpinnings of a bottle deposit program could leave counties absorbing the long-term loss of key recycling revenue. Additionally, the new redemption infrastructure could upend Maryland’s efforts to promote citizen acceptance of and participation in recycling efforts.

Maryland has debated – and rejected – various proposals to institute container deposits over the years. Recently, the General Assembly has consistently rejected various bottle bill programs and study proposals for several years since 2011.

. . . MACo acknowledges that the litter issue raised by advocates of the bottle deposit program is a valid concern. However, MACo believes that the issue can most likely be addressed through other methods that would not potentially disrupt Maryland’s recycling efforts.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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