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E-M:/ Bottle Bill Foes 'Crying Wolf'



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------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from David Holtz ------------------------------------------------------------------------- News Release                                                                                                                                    More Information:
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Friday, February 28, 2003                                                                                                                                                     734-663-2400 ext.104

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Don't Trash Michigan coalition: Industry is 'Crying Wolf'
Only Area Public Hearing On Bottle Bill Expansion Set For Monday


A coalition of more than two dozen groups say they will urge the Republicans’ Michigan Beverage Container and Recycling Task Force to expand the state's successful Bottle Bill and support stronger measures to improve other recycling programs during a public hearing Monday in Oakland County.

“Michigan is cleaner, greener and a better place because of our landmark Bottle Bill,” said Michael Garfield of the Ecology Center and coordinator for the Don’t Trash Michigan campaign.  “Our message to the task force  will be that they should listen to the people and not the special interests--bring the Bottle Bill into the 21st Century and expand Michigan’s other recycling programs.”

Garfield said the coalition will also remind the task force that objections to expanding the Bottle Bill that are now being raised by industry representatives are the same ones Michiganders heard 27 years ago when they overwhelmingly approved the returnable bottle proposal.  None of the industry’s dire predictions at that time have come true, he said.

“Crying wolf only works so many times,” said Garfield. “We have nearly three decades of experience with the bottle bill and all of it has been positive.”

The 10-cent deposit on soft drink, beer, malt beverage and wine cooler containers is credited with curtailing litter in Michigan.  The task force is studying whether to extend the deposit to bottled water, juice and other containers. In addition to the bottle bill expansion, the Don’t Trash Michigan coalition, representing 28 environmental, civic and community groups, will ask the task force to recommend that the Legislature adopt a proposal to begin charging waste haulers fees for using Michigan’s landfills.   The coalition wants the fees to go toward strengthening recycling programs.  Michigan is the only state in the region that does not charge a landfill use fee, a policy that encourages the importation of waste from Canada and neighboring states.

The recycling task force will meet from 7-9 p.m. Monday in the Gold Room, Oakland Center Upper Level, Oakland University in Rochester. It is the only scheduled hearing of the task force in southeastern Michigan.

Don't Trash Michigan member organizations expected to testify at Monday's hearing include representatives from Oakland County's East Michigan Environmental Action Council, the Michigan Environmental Council, Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club.

More information:  www.stoptrash.org

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