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“Imagine a plastic bottle that dreams of becoming a pair of jeans, a steel food can that wants to breeze by as a bicycle, or a shampoo bottle that continues to bring smiles to the beautiful faces of children as a hairbrush. Would you help to make their dreams come true if you could?”

This is a campaign by Keep America Beautiful.

This is a great campaign that will hopefully get people thinking about giving single use items , a new life as something else.

Plastic bottles can become clothing or park benches.

Steel cans can become new bicycles.

Making items from recycled items takes less energy than making making things from raw materials.

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PRIDE OF PLACE: 

The comprehensive litter and recycling solution 
based on a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers

I wish I had solid green news–but in fact there was no vote yesterday on the container-deposit bill. It still lacks the 4 votes needed in House State Govt Subcommittee, and that’s not likely to change. 

However, it’s never over till it’s over, and in the meantime we’re getting some pretty good press coverage–see links in item #3–so Rep. Mike McDonald rolled HB3429 to the final meeting, which is next Tuesday, March 23.
1. COMMITTEE STATUS
Rep. Mary Pruitt  rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov: YES. Please thank her.
  
Rep. Joe Carr rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov: NO. (Says he’s “undecided,” but on a committee with no other Republican support, it’s the same thing.)
 Rep.Ty Cobb  rep.ty.cobb@capitol.tn.gov: NO. (Officially he is also “undecided.” This probably has more to do with election-year politics than anything else.)
Rep. Ryan Haynes rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov: NO. Similar to Joe Carr, only with less indecision.
Rep. John Litz  john.litz@capitol.tn.gov: NO. What he told his hometown newspaper is that the bill is good “in theory” but “the numbers don’t add up,” there’s no market for glass and plastic, the litter grants aren’t paid for, etc.–all unfounded.
Rep. Gerald McCormick  rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov: NO. 
2. WHAT TO DO NOW

Feel free to contact the legislators, if you like. However, it will probably be more useful for you to contact your local newspaper and other media–especially in the smaller communities–and urge them to follow (or continue to follow) this bill. Assure them that this is a popular and effective public policy that will create real jobs for real Tennesseans, and that the special-interest myths against it are just that–myths. Lies. Distortions. If you like, give them my contact info. But they prefer to hear from their own.

3. POSITIVE PRESS

As I said above, the bill has been getting some great coverage; I especially love the editorial in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 
(Note that some of the stories contain some errors, e.g., we go thru 4.5 billion containers a year–not 450 billion! But nothing fatal.)


THANKS, GUYS! Talk to you next week.

Marge Davis, Ph.D.
Coordinator
Pride of Place/Tennessee Bottle Bill Project
A Project of Scenic Tennessee, Inc.
45 Burris Court
Mount Juliet, TN 37122
home (615) 758-8647
fax (615) 754-0966 
cell (615) 294-2651

 

 

‘Bottle Bill’ offers incentives to go green, Our view   From the Tennessean, April 8, 2009.  “A bill before the General Assembly would return the 5-cent deposit to Tennessee, but in a new version that has seen success in 11 other states.”

The comprehensive litter and recycling solution 

based on a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers

Dear Friends of a Clean, Green Tennessee: 

The bill is still in play in the House State Government Subcommittee, but it’s hanging by a thread.
1. WHAT HAPPENED TUESDAY (March 9)
Committee members have been hammered with misinformation from groups opposing the bottle bill.  This had its intended effect of creating doubt and making legislators think the status quo is the safest route. 
  
Knowing the votes were not there, Rep Mike McDonald asked the chair to roll the bill to next week, but to let us give a presentation this week. The chair agreed to allow ten minutes.
You really need to watch the online video of the presentation, which included videotaped interviews with businesses as well as testimony by Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, who flew in from California for one day to help us. It will make you proud of our side:

  1. Go to http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/
  2. On the main menu, click on “Videos.” This will bring up options–click on “House Videos.”
  3. On the list to the left, open the drop-down menu for “State and Local Government Committee” by clicking on the little arrow to the left of the committee name.  
  4. In the drop-down menu, click on “State Government Subcommittee.”
  5. Under “Archived Videos,” go to the item for March 9, 2010, and click on “Video.” This opens the video screen.
  6. The discussion of HB 3429 (bottle bill) starts at 21:10 minutes, so slide the little playback slider until you get to that point.
2. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TUESDAY: HOUSE AND SENATE

If we are sure of four votes by next Tuesday, March 16, Rep. McDonald will allow the bill to be voted on. I WILL LET YOU KNOW NEXT MONDAY IF THERE WILL BE A HEARING. If the votes aren’t there, he’ll withdraw it. That means the bill will be dead for 2010. 
However, if it lives, things will start moving in the Senate the following week. (The bill is on the calendar in Senate Environment for next Tuesday, but the calendar is so crowded that there’s almost no chance they’ll get to it, and it will be moved to the following week.)

3. WHAT TO DO NOW

  • Watch the presentation, then e-mail the subcommittee members, below.  Do this even if you’ve contacted them already, because now you can urge them to support the new jobs that they heard about in the presentation.
  • Urge legislators to at least let the bill get out of sub and advance to the full committtee! They are just six people, making a decision that will affect 6 million–to say nothing of the manufacturers around the country who need the material this bill will provide. Do they really want to be responsible for getting it wrong?
  • Enlist help from your friends, especially those in Maury, Hamblen, Rutherford, Knox and Hamilton counties. These are the districts represented by the subcommittee members. They need to know that their legislators have the power to create–or forego–new jobs and small businesses AND clean up Tennessee.
  • Talk to the media in those counties. Urge them to cover this issue over the weekend.   
4. PICTURE HOW TN WILL LOOK WITH AND WITHOUT THiS BILL
This really is a cool exercise that should fire you up: Picture Tennessee with 500 small businesses (minimum!) spread across it, some in every county, all dedicated to recycling. These are the redemption centers. (I see it as a sort of game board in the shape of the state, and the redemption centers are those little green Monopoly houses.) Now envision perhaps 100 bigger businesses–I use the red hotels from Monopoly–also distributed across the state. These are the processors, manufacturers and service providers that will either start up or expand as a result of this bill. Now think of at least 2,000 new workers moving around inside these buildings. This is Tennessee with a container deposit, and it is no exaggeration. Forty years of bottle bills support these growth projections. Oh, and you can also picture most of the bottles and cans gone from the roadsides and lakes and rivers.
Okay, now: Take your arm and wipe the board clean. This is Tennessee without the bill. This is what our legislators are prepared to give us on Tuesday. Oh, and you can put all those bottles and cans back in the ditches.
(This little exercise comes from Ward Cammack, the first candidate for governor to endorse a container deposit. Ward is no no longer running, but now he’s helping us.)

 5. HOUSE STATE GOVERNMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
WMB = War Memorial Building
LP = Legislative Plaza
Gerald McCormick, chair  R-26 (Chattanooga: represents part of Hamilton County) 117 WMB   (615) 741-2548   rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov 
Mary Pruitt, vice-chair (SPONSOR)  D-58 (Nashville; represents part of Davidson County)  25 LP      (615) 741-3853       rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov 
Joe Carr  R-48 (Lascassas: part of Rutherford County)     205 WMB     (615) 741-2180       rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov 
Cobb, Ty  D-64 (Columbia: represents part of Maury County)   23 LP       (615)  741-3005       rep.ty.cobb@capitol.tn.gov 
Haynes, Ryan R-14 (Knoxville: represents part of Knox County)    203 WMB   (615) 741-2264      rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov 
Litz, John  D-10 (Morristown: represents all of Hamblen County)    17 LP         (615) 741-6877        rep.john.litz@capitol.tn.gov 

THANKS, GUYS!

Marge Davis, Ph.D.
Coordinator
Pride of Place/Tennessee Bottle Bill Project
A Project of Scenic Tennessee, Inc.
45 Burris Court
Mount Juliet, TN 37122
home (615) 758-8647
fax (615) 754-0966 
cell (615) 294-2651

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