I have a strong feeling it isn't people who would otherwise recycle given a very small (per bottle) financial incentive. I think it's more people drinking and throwing at night, and the same people who toss their fast food bags out the window.
I don't think it would be a 100% solution by any means, but if a few bucks can be earned at something, the number of people who would take advantage of that might surprise you.
Also, if people have to spend more to get drinks in glass due to the deposit, some of those who drink and toss might be more likely to buy drinks in plastic or cans, which don't break when tossed. That might be the biggest incentive for the drink-and-toss crowd, especially if we're talking about people buying beer by the case.
I just examined the label on a bottle in my frig for current #s. Most of the states that currently have bottle deposits charge 5 cents, and some of them are evaluating because that's no longer covering the cost of operating the program. Michigan charges 10 cents. When I've been in Michigan recently, I've seen lots of bottles getting returned.
Those who gather cans for recycling are likely to continue, and plastic bottles are much easier to pick up than broken glass.
I lived in Michigan when the bottle deposit went into effect and the amount of broken glass on the streets was reduced significantly. Bottles were perceived to have value by most people and empty bottles left in public places were recycled by scavengers. Its not a panacea, but it did help. Many businesses protested the bill, claiming that they would be put out of business, but the predicted economic disaster never arrived.
Done! All bottles should carry deposits.
Because of glass from deliberately broken bottles on the IPP in Maywood, my wife, who is an inexperienced cyclist, did all of two miles on her bike in 2011. OK, that wasn't the only reason for her short bike mileage last year, but it didn't help....
For years, my personal solution has been buying heavily fortified tires (Schwalbe Marathon or Marathon Plus), and spending some time sweeping my local path in summer. While the tires have been very effective, and sweeping has helped somewhat, I'd be happier if I didn't need the expensive tires, and I'd rather be doing more pleasant things than sweeping up broken glass.
DJM - Thanks for the Michigan perspective.
Daniel G said:
Any recycling program is a good one, but I don't think it would have any sort of effect on the amount of glass in the streets. Either we reduce the number of pissed-off or drunken citizens, or we increase street sweeping frequency. Crappy, glass-ridden streets are one of the costs of a public which does not value its public spaces. The unfortunate solution may be a private one, overpriced tires for all. Signed the petition because it's a good one.
It seems to me that when I was a kid here in Chicago, ALL bottles (milk, pop, beer) had deposits and were washed and reused. Anyone know why that all went by the wayside? Was the cost of reclaiming, washing and reusing bottles more than the cost of always using new?
(Petition signed. Let the spam begin.)
Michigan,as well as a few others, did thisand if I recall even plastic had a deposit. 40 oz bottles had a 20 cents deposit so knowing that you can drink that bottle, take it back along with all the others you drank and get actual money towards your next is an incentive even the biggest drunk/alki would go for.
I'm tired of having to dodge shards in the park.
Not to mention bartenders would stop trying to break them as they throw the last one you just drank in the trash
I'm all for it.
There are significantly fewer bottles and cans littering the roads in Michigan. The 10c seems to make a big difference.
Way to go Anne, I've singed.
While I like the idea I don't see it leading to a huge reduction in flats. The roads are full of ugly stuff and glass from car wrecks and break ins as well as bottles. Plus as pointed out most of the people who smash them are smashing beer bottles drunk. Of course I still think that people should sign the petition, and even push for a deposit on plastic bottles and cans as well, but do it to prevent litter and promote recycling; not because you think it is going to save you flats.
When it passes invest your deposits on a set of good tires because that's about the only way your going to see a significant reduction in flats.
I don't intend to give up the fortified tires.
If we can help motivate more recycling and end up with less littering and broken glass, I'd be happy with that. A deposit on plastic bottles and cans wouldn't be a bad thing.