Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 21, 2014

Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit

Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two.

Or two dozen. Or 200.

Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Michigan Environmental Council. Our northern neighbors have studied the issue extensively. Michigan is one of 10 states with a container-deposit law. Michiganders enacted their “bottle bill” in 1976, placing a 10-cent deposit on the drink’s price that consumers can get refunded when they return the empty bottle. As a result, 96 percent of those containers get returned and recycled.

By contrast, Indiana has no bottle-deposit law. As a result, people gulp down their soft drinks, beer, wine coolers, liquor, juice, tea, sports drinks or bottled waters and then carelessly toss the plastic, glass or metal container into streets, yards, creeks, farm fields, storefronts, downtown sidewalk flower boxes and the banks of the Wabash River.

Michigan looks clean, generally. Indiana, not so much.

That should change, and if Hoosier legislators show some determination, it will.

This summer, a legislative committee will study “every possibility that would increase recycling” in Indiana, as Rep. David Wolkins put it. He’s a Republican from Warsaw in the Indiana House. More specifically, Wolkins chairs the House Environmental Affairs Committee. In this winter’s session of the General Assembly, the committee dealt with House Bill 1183 through its passage. Alas, it wasn’t an actual bottle bill, but it could lead to one. House Bill 1183 requires recyclers and solid-waste districts to report data on the materials they process, so Indiana can figure out just how little Hoosiers recycle. Wolkins said the best estimates range from 20 to 25 percent of municipal waste, which puts us near the bottom nationally.

The bill sets a goal for Indiana to raise that to 50 percent. And, it sets up a summer study committee to analyze all possibilities to boost recycling of materials that fill Hoosier landfills and pollute waterways, roadways, cities and countrysides. Those possibilities include a bottle-deposit law.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • LETTERS: Putting economics before responsibility Veterans, retirees need tax deductionsAre you receiving either an Indiana property tax Veterans Disability Deduction or an Over 65 Deduction? I was, however, this year I learned otherwise. My property taxes payable this year, as compared to the prope

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • CHEERS & JEERS: Livestock donations appreciated; what's a GMO? Thanks to folks at Kokomo BeachCarrie Giannakos, professional relations coordinator at Jarrell Orthodontics, sends this Cheer on behalf of the dental practice:“Dr. Kevin Jarrell and the team at Jarrell Orthodontics want to send a Cheer to the staff a

    July 26, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll