Opinion: Lawmaker is blocking changes to bottle return bill

If anyone is wondering why our roadsides have more litter than normal, here is a reason. When snow melts, a new crop of bottles and cans and coffee cups appears, thrown out by trashy people who don’t care about how the state looks. They don’t care that their mother doesn’t work picking up after them.
We have a bottle return bill that helps a lot, providing others money for picking up after careless people who think nothing about throwing out trash. Have you seen that some bottles are returnable for a deposit in other states, but not Vermont? I found a bottle that was returnable in Alaska or Alabama but not green and clean Vermont.
Why not? Why hasn’t the state Legislature upgraded the bottle bill to 25 cents deposit and included more types of bottles like water bottles that fill landfills around the country?
The answer is Washington County state Rep. Tony Klein. He has blocked bills to help make Vermont cleaner for years. His position is chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. “The House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy considers matters relating to conservation and development of the state’s land resources, geology, forestry, state parks and lands; scenery; air quality issues; environmental permitting; solid waste management; and energy.”
Sounds like it should include things like keeping our highways clean, right? Well, he is selling some idea that the auto-sorting of trash will somehow get bottles and coffee cups picked up from highways. I don’t think so, but it seems he believes in magic. Maybe he has found sorting machines that can go along highways to pick up bottles. Again, I don’t think so. I also hear that he is worried that stores might somehow lose money. I am sure there is no good research to back up this claim.
Everyone who wants cleaner highways send a note to Tony Klein at [email protected] and ask him to start making sense and help the cleanup.
Peter Grant

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