Pa. bottle bill would set up deposit program to reduce waste, litter |

Pa. bottle bill would set up deposit program to reduce waste, litter

Stephen Huba
AP Photo | Matt Rourke
In this Feb. 15, 2019, photo, Keith Q. Schenck (center) and Jordan P. Ferrarini take part in the Fresh Start initiative to clean up trash in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Philadelphia has been trying for years to shed itself of the nickname “Filthadelphia.” Now some neighborhoods struggling with litter have decided to take collection into their own hands.

A proposal to set up a beverage bottle and can deposit program in Pennsylvania now has support in the state House and Senate.

State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Doylestown, said Tuesday state Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, planned to introduce a companion bill in the Senate that is modeled on her legislation (HB 1322), which would create a 5-cent beverage bottle and can deposit program in Pennsylvania.

Ullman’s bill is part of the House Democrats’ “Zero Waste PA” legislative package, which is aimed at reducing single-use plastics and addressing pervasive issues of litter.

“PennDOT spends upwards of $10 million a year cleaning up litter. Reducing the amount of beverage containers in the litter stream will bring a significant cost savings to taxpayers,” Ullman said.

Ullman’s program would include a redemption rate of 5 cents on returnable containers and a handling fee of 2 cents per container for retailers and redemption centers to help cover their costs associated with the handling and storage of returnable containers.

Additionally, any unclaimed or abandoned deposits forfeited by consumers would be recaptured by the commonwealth and deposited into the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

“The fact that beverage containers alone make up about 6% of our waste stream and half of all litter shows that we need to do more to promote recycling in Pennsylvania. My legislation will support and reward recycling, which will ultimately reduce waste throughout Pennsylvania and keep our outdoor areas beautiful and free from litter,” she said.

Ullman’s bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania | Top Stories
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