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How is the bottle deposit really voluntary?

Posted by Garrett Quinn, Less is More  July 25, 2012 10:23 AM

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FiveCents.jpg Can we please stop using the word "voluntary" when it comes to describing bottle redemption laws? Just call it what it is: a user fee on beverages. You can get your money back but only after you spend time organizing the empty containers and taking them to a redemption center. I've never calculated the amount of time I've spent doing this but it definitely takes longer to return them than it does to buy them in the first place. When you're all done you get a nifty piece of paper worth a buck or two making it barely worth the time and effort. It's much easier, thanks to single stream recycling, to just throw them in the recycling bin and be done with it because it takes three minutes.

The bottle deposit is voluntary in the same way that renting a luggage cart at the airport is: Do you really want to push that stupid cart all the way back to the baggage claim just to get your fifty cents back? No, of course not. You want to go home, have a beer and watch the Red Sox lose.

And when you're done you'll just toss the bottle in your recycle bin.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Garrett Quinn began writing for newspapers at age 17 with CNC in his native South Shore. He has been published in BlueMassGroup, RedMassGroup, Pioneer Investigates, and Wonkette. He is a More »

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