Tennessee Bottle Bill

...your resources pertaining to pending Volunteer State beverage container anti-litter legislation, protection of Tennessee children from beverage container litter-related injuries, and spotlighting the Tennessee "pro-beverage container litter" politcal action committee money trees.


Denmark: deposit on single-use plastic bottles

[Denamrk] Domestic Political News
5 May 2006
Deposit on single-use bottles

Single-use bottles are to join reusable bottles and cans on refund-system

The Danish parliament debated a bill on Thursday from the opposition that would introduce a refund system on single-use water bottles. The government, retailers, the plastic industry and the Danish brewers association support the idea, reported public service broadcaster DR.

The refund would extend the Danish bottle bill to single-use plastic drink bottles.

The existing refund system includes reusable soft-drink and other bottles. Aluminium cans were introduced to the refund system in 2002.

'Refunds on single-use bottles can be implemented with aid from [return system operator] Danskretur System A/S, and that is what the government is working on', Eyvind Vesselbo the environment spokesperson for the PM's Liberal party told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

'A large proportion of the packaging litter out there is from single-use bottles. That is why the minister of the environment is working on a strategy for how to use the existing refund and exchange system for single-use bottles,' explained Vesslebo.

The Copenhagen Post


Local Subcommitee April 19th "Switch-a-roo"

Just to let you know that the April 19th hearing of HB 3350 has undergone a scheduling "switch-a-roo" --- the hearing was originally scheduled to be an hour long during the 0900 to 1000 CST time slot, and has now been revised to start at 0830 CST and last only for thirty minutes...

If you were unaware of the schedule change for the HB 3550 hearing in Nashville, you would have likely missed the entire part of the meeting reserved for pro-bottle bill comments.

If you are planning to attend, show up at the House Hearing Room before 0800 CST.


Wind-up To Earth Day: April 19 TNGA Subcommittee "Bottle Bill" Hearing

I just received the following email, excerpt below, from Dr. Marge Davis regarding the April 19 Local Government Subcommittee hearing in Nashville for the Tennessee Beverage Container Deposit Act of 2006 - Tennessee Bottle Bill (HB3350):

On Wednesday, April 19, from 9 to 10 am in House Hearing Room 30, the 2006 bottle bill will be the subject of a one-hour hearing before the Local Government Subcommittee of the House State and Local Government Committee. Rep. Russell Johnson will have 20 minutes to make his case for a bottle bill; the opposition will have 20 minutes to explain why they think a bottle bill will be the ruination of the state; and the legislators will have 20 minutes to ask questions.

The press will be there in force; so will members of the opposition and their lobbyists.


I know Nashville is a long drive for most of you, but consider that this single day spent driving to and from Nashville may translate to many years of driving along far cleaner roads. Because if this bill gets out of this committee, IT MAY ACTUALLY PASS.

Be sure to notify your state rep and state senator that you are coming to town, and why. Tell them you'll try to visit them for a minute or two while you're here. Few things will make as big an impression on them as knowing that their constituents are traveling to the Capitol in support of this bill. Be sure to review the main talking points before you come, so that you can respond to their concerns. (I'm attaching two fact sheets for your convenience.)

Call your friends, neighbors and coworkers and make an outing of it! If you have kids, consider trading a day of schoolwork for a live civics lesson in Nashville. In fact, if you are a teacher and can get permission, bring your entire class!


Two reasons:

First, your presence will show the subcommittee members--as well as their fellow lawmakers, the general public, the news media and even the opposition--that real Tennesseans want this bill and are willing to come to Nashville to say so. That's why we need as large and diverse a crowd as we can get, from farmers to 4-H kids to fishermen.

Second, your presence in the hearing room will hold committee members accountable--to you, to the facts, to the greater good they pledged to serve.
It may be that some legislators have already promised the opposition that they will vote to kill the bill, but I'm counting on three things to change their minds:
--a powerful presentation by Rep. Johnson
--statewide press coverage
--and most important, the watchful eyes of dozens of ordinary citizens like us!


Keeping America Befuddled:
KAB History 1953 to 2000

From Keep America Beautiful: A History (1953 to 2000)
by the Container Recycling Institute

In the aftermath of magazine ads promoting beverage cans as "throwaways", Keep America Beautiful (KAB) was founded in 1953 by a group of businessmen from the beverage and packaging industries. Their purported interest was to curb the growing problem of litter. Coincidently, 1953 was the year Vermont passed the nation's first bottle bill, banning the sale of beer in non-refillable bottles.

Litter was a visible problem nationwide and the bottlers and packagers were concerned that government would make them responsible for solving the litter problem by regulating their industries. That concern was the catalyst for founding KAB. The organization launched its first campaign theme, "Every Litter Bit Hurts" and the most visible environmental organizations joined KAB's war on litter.

In the early 1970's KAB mounted a splashy new campaign aimed at making individuals responsible for cleaning up litter that was a blight on parks, playgrounds, country roads and city landscapes. The now legendary image of the Native American with a tear angling down his face caught the attention of the public, but many environmental organizations serving as advisors to KAB were offended by the "People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It" theme.

Environmentalists thought the theme implied that individuals were solely responsible for pollution. Environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, National Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation wanted KAB to join them in working for strategies such as bottle bills, that focused on preventing litter and making producers responsible for their packaging waste. But the industry backers of the KAB strongly objected.

In 1972 Oregon and Vermont enacted the nation's first bottle bills requiring a 5-cent deposit on beer and soft drink containers. By 1974, when the California legislature began to debate whether to enact a container deposit law, KAB made a strategic decision to publicly oppose the bottle bill. Roger Powers, President of KAB testified against the California bottle bill before the state legislature in Sacramento.

Some Advisory Committee members saw this public opposition to bottle bills as an indication that KAB was serving its own interests and not those of the broader environmental community and as a result threatened to quit the advisory board. In order to keep the environmentalists on board KAB, agreed that it would not take a position, either for or against deposit legislation.

As public support for bottle bills grew and aggressive bottle bill campaigns were waged in Maine and Michigan, the brewers needed an alternative response to litter, otherwise more states might soon adopt bottle bills. In 1975 the U.S. Brewers Association (USBA) developed a sophisticated campaign called the "Clean Community System" (CCS), which they touted as an alternative to bottle bills. As the parent organization, KAB kicked off the new Clean Community Campaign at its annual meeting in 1975.

In a memo several months later, the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Thomas Williams explained the underlying purpose of the CCS. It is a public relations campaign, he wrote, used by the industry " in an attempt to focus the attention of hundreds of communities on anti-litter campaigns . . . When successfully inaugurated, it tends to abort any local efforts to institute beverage container deposit systems, placing emphasis on street-cleaning and other litter control activities."

The final blow to environmentalists was dealt during a speech at a July 1976 KAB Board of Directors meeting at the Biltmore Hotel in New York, when American Can Company chairman William F. May labeled bottle bill proponents "Communists" and called for a total KAB mobilization against the four bottle bill referenda on the ballot in November. Present during the speech were KAB's Advisory Committee members, many of whom were the subject of May's attack.

The story was picked up by Jack Anderson and aired on his national television show. On August 12, 1976, the EPA resigned from KAB's board and by October 1976 more than a dozen environmental and citizen groups, including National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, League of Women Voters and Sierra Club disaffiliated from KAB. In November of that year voters approved bottle bills in Michigan and Maine.
[...more at link]

[Raleigh] News & Observer Editorial Endorses
Enactment of North Carolina Bottle Bill

Trails of trash:
Too many North Carolina roadsides look like landfills. It's time to require a minimum refundable deposit on bottles and cans

Nothing about the genetic makeup of North Carolinians explains the volume of trash we unload along public roads. Some of the same people who cheerfully spend their tax dollars dressing up highway vistas with wildflowers turn right around and ruin the mood with their garbage.

As The N&O's Matthew Eisley reported Sunday [Litterbugs trash N.C. from mountains to sea], the state has battled this boorish behavior for years. The Department of Transportation has set up a hotline for reporting litterbugs and taken thousands of scofflaws to court where they've been slapped with fines and community service. Still, over the last decade, the harvest of litter has doubled.

That didn't happen in Iowa, Oregon and several other states where laws require a minimum refundable deposit on bottles and cans. As a consequence, legislators in Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and Illinois are considering so-called bottle bills, too. North Carolina lawmakers should do the same.
[...more at link]


Newspaper Editorial Artist Mark Wilson:
New York Bottle Law

I first ran across newspaper editorial artwork of Mark Wilson while performing a Google image search for "bottle bill" and stopped dead in my tracks to view many more of his excellent illustrations and informative (and highly entertaining) editorial cartoons at EmpireWire.

Be sure to also check out Wilson's editorial cartoon archives --- as a Tennessee resident, I surfed through the EmpireWire archives for an hour or better just enjoying Wilson's rendering of a wide range of both New York and U.S. national political issues. Wilson's bottle law artwork pertaining to the beverage industry opposition of container deposits is especially brilliant...

may 11: message in a bottle.
Mark Wilson. 2004.

june 2: the bottle bill vs. the larger louder litter lobby.
Mark Wilson. 2005.

About Mark Wilson and EmpireWire

Illustrations by Mark Wilson

Cartoons by Mark Wilson

Cartoons (Archives) by Mark Wilson


Tennessee Bottle Bill Advances

'Bottle bill' advances on Capitol Hill but sponsor not confident of success

Associated Press Writer

Published: Wednesday, 03/29/06

A proposal to make Tennessee the 12th state to enact a bottle and can deposit program advanced in the House today but nevertheless left the measure's main sponsor pessimistic about its fate.

The House Government Operations committee advanced the bill, but a similar plan to place a 5-cent deposit on drinks containers last year got mired at the bill's next stop, the State Government Subcommittee.

Rep. Russell Johnson, the bill's sponsor, said "unless there's a groundswell of phone calls and e-mails," the chances of it advancing this year aren't very high.

"The subcommittee truly bottled up the bill last year," said the Loudon Republican. "I've been assured we'll at least have a motion and second this year to make our presentation."

Under the bill, distributors would pay a 5-cent deposit per container to the state, passing the costs on to the retailers and consumers. The deposit would be redeemed on returned empties. Milk, dietary supplements and medicines would be excluded.

The first $10 million of any unclaimed refund money would be allocated to the state Department of Transportation for existing county litter grant programs and any remaining money would go into the general revenue fund. A nonrefundable 3-cent container fee would help fund the program.

Jarron Springer of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Stores Association, said the bill would put "pressure put on retailers that they would become garbage collectors for the state."

Other opponents include the lobbying associations of the state's gas stations and soft drink and beer producers. They call the proposal "a new consumer tax."

Tennessee's already high sales tax encourages shoppers to travel across state borders, opponents say, and adding a deposit would only increase that trend.

They also say that a refund program in Tennessee would invite fraudulent returns of containers from surrounding states that don't have similar programs.

"People could take cans from Kentucky and redeem them here, and Tennessee would lose 5 cents every time that happens," Springer said.

The bill would set up penalties in an effort to minimize fraud. Individuals who knowingly try to claim refunds for more than 24 empty containers known to have originated out of state could be hit with a civil penalty of $100 per container or up to $25,000 per haul. Distributors skirting the law could be fined $10,000 per offense.

Hawaii became the first state in 16 years to pass a container redemption law in 2002. Ten other states passed similar laws within a 15-year period starting with Oregon in 1971 and ending with California in 1986.

An informal survey of Tennessee's roadsides by deposit proponents in December found that more than half of roadside trash consisted of drinks containers.

Critics said the survey was survey skewed to support the deposit legislation by measuring volume of trash instead of the number of items found.

Supporters, meanwhile, argue that measuring trash by the number of items found doesn't account for the large portion of litter from empty containers.

Published: Wednesday, 03/29/06


Welcome to the Tennessee Bottle Bill blog!

I am looking forward during 2006 (and beyond) to reading through all your contributed postings, links, and suggestions for the Tennessee Bottle Bill (TNBBb) blog:

1) it is very likely that school children of varying ages will visit the TNBBb --- keep your postings TNBBb postings un-littered with throw-away language and unsuitable image files;

2) document your information sources whenever possible within your first new posting to a topic (that helps).

Food City CEO & President
Steven C. Smith


Massachusetts Sierra Club
"Industry Arguments" Fact Sheet

Read it. Learn it. Know it.

The Massachusetts Chapter Sierra Club Fact Sheet: Industry Arguments Against the Bottle Bill is really too good to pass up --- I have had one Northeast Tennessee representative to present these same "industry arguments" to me during a recent telephone conversation regarding the Tennessee 'bottle bill':

Massachusetts Chapter Sierra Club
Fact Sheet:
Industry Arguments Against the Bottle Bill

Since the Massachusetts Bottle Bill became law in 1982, dramatic changes have occurred in the beverage market. Sales of “new” beverages such as juices, iced tea, sport drinks, and bottled water have vastly increased. Because the Bottle Bill does not yet cover these drinks, millions of these containers wind up as litter or in our landfills and incinerators, costing cities and towns money in expensive disposal fees.

The public benefit from the bottle bill is clear – and support for it is as strong as ever! When opponents sponsored a ballot question to repeal the Massachusetts Bottle Bill, it was rejected 93% to 7%. Despite overwhelming public support, special-interest groups are opposed to it, and have spent enormous sums in trying to overturn or gut bottle bills throughout the USA. In Columbia, Missouri, bottlers outspent supporters at 10-to-1[i]. In Hawaii, the industry created a so-called “consumers” groups, entirely funded by the bottling industry.

CLAIM: The bottle bill is a tax on consumers.

The bottle bill is not a tax since deposits are 100% refundable. Those who do not redeem their containers make a voluntary choice not to do so, and therefore unclaimed deposits cannot be considered a tax.

CLAIM: We don’t need a bottle bill now that communities have curbside recycling programs.

States without bottle bills have only a 20-30% recycling rate, while states with a bottle bill typically have an 70+% rate.[ii]

FACT 2: The bottling industry perpetuates an incorrect assumption that states must choose between curbside programs and deposit laws. Recycling data proves that both systems are necessary. Beverages are purchased and consumed both at home – where curbside recycling can be effective – and also away-from-home for immediate consumption. Beverages consumed away from home can be captured with deposits, but are beyond the reach of curbside programs. Despite a tripling in the number of curbside programs in the U.S. from 1990-2000, the quantity of aluminum cans wasted increased from 554,000 to 691,000 tons a year, and the amount of PET beverage bottles landfilled and incinerated rose from 359,000 to 943,000 tons per year.[iii]

CLAIM: A Bottle Bill Update will hurt our economy

Updating the bottle bill will be good for the Massachusetts economy. Collecting the unclaimed deposits on the updated items will generate over $16 million[iv] annually to ensure funding for essential environmental programs – without imposing any new taxes. The updated bottle bill will save municipalities the cost of collecting and either recycling or disposing of these materials. Reductions in litter will reduce property damage and personal injury from broken glass and sharp metal cans. In addition, updating the bottle bill will create new jobs in the recycling and retail industries.

CLAIM: Updated bottle bill will increase the price of bottled beverages

Although 5¢ is added to the cost of a bottle or can when you buy the beverage, it is fully refunded when you return it! If you choose not to return it, the unclaimed deposit is used to fund litter reduction and recycling programs.

Donald Dowd, Vice President of Coca Cola of New England, stated "our prices pre-bottle bill and post-bottle bill are virtually the same."[v]

A study funded by the National Food Processors Association found that soda in Massachusetts “costs roughly the same as soda in New Hampshire …,” and concluded, “One could argue that . . . having a bottle bill does not increase beverage prices.”[vi]

CLAIM: Updating the bottle bill will create problems for shopkeepers

Massachusetts retailers and redemption centers already have well-established systems to handle deposit containers. Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) technology has already greatly reduced the amount of space retailers must use to satisfy their obligations under the bottle bill and this technology can easily adapt to any changes in the bottle deposit law. RVMs read container bar codes and electronically record the type of beverage containers returned. The machines can be re-programmed to deal with new containers under an updated bottle bill.

CLAIM: Updating the bottle bill harm municipal curbside recycling programs by removing valuable aluminum

The vast majority of the items included in the update are plastic and glass. It costs municipalities money to collect, process, and market recyclables. The savings to municipalities from removing these cumbersome, low-value materials from their recycling programs far exceeds the loss of revenue from sales of scrap aluminum. The purpose of municipal recycling programs is not to generate revenue but to provide an environmentally sound, cost-effective alternative to land filling and incineration.

CLAIM: There’s got to be a better way.

The most effective recycling programs in the world are comprised of curbside PLUS deposit. Systems that eliminate one or the other component are ineffective.

CLAIM: Sen. O'Leary's NJ-Style Litter Tax is more fair and will be more effective.

The bottlers' newest claim is that New Jersey's Litter Tax is better than the bottle bill. In reality, NJ environmentalists see this as a complete fabrication. The meager proceeds the proposed Litter Tax would barely amount to $25,000 per year for each city and town. This amount can not even begin to pay for cleanup, education, and other litter control programs. In New Jersey, litter is at an all-time high, and environmentalists are working to implement a Massachusetts-style Bottle Bill. Click here to read NJ Sierra Club's comments on Sen. O'Leary's proposal.

FACT 2: Until three years ago, the Clean Environment Fund (CEF) was the recipient of forfeited deposits. This fund - as well as hundreds of other dedicated funds - were dissolved by the State Legislature. Although still on the books, the CEF and all other dedicated funds like it cannot be reinstated without specific legislation to allow them. The O'Leary Litter Taxes "set aside" cannot be established.

CLAIM: Fraud will cause the bottlers to lose millions

FACT: Buying a beverage in another bottle-bill state - or a non bottle bill state like New Hampshire - and returning it in Massachusetts, is considered "fraud". While some bottlers are unwilling to specify just how many containers are fraudulently returned, others like Coca-Cola are beginning to use the most obvious method to eliminate it: different barcodes in bottle bill states. This low-cost method virtually eliminates fraud.

[i] Container Recycling Institute

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Container Recycling Institute

[v] Boston Globe Nov. 22, 1989

[vi] An Economic and Waste Management Analysis of Maine’s Bottle Deposit Legislation, by Dr. George Criner, Commissioned by the National Food Processors Association, University of Maine, 1991.


U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords:
National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act of 2003

U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords, Vermont

November 17, 2003

Senator Jeffords' Floor Statement on the
National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act

Mr. President, like every loyal Red Sox fan, I believe that next season, my team will be victorious. I bring this same level of optimism to my efforts to reduce the amount of wasted resources and litter caused by discarded beverage containers.

I rise today to introduce the National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act of 2003, the Bottle Bill, convinced that this is our year. I have long been an advocate for increased recycling.

Vermont passed its Bottle Bill in 1972 when I was state Attorney General. In 1975, during my first Session as a Representative in the U.S. House, I introduced a national Bottle Bill, closely resembling Vermont's very successful example.

Last Congress, as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I convened the first Congressional hearing in many years on recycling, in which the Committee heard expert testimony on the merits of a national program to recycle beverage containers.

The reason that I continue to push this issue is simple – it makes sense. Beverage container recycling is one of the simplest ways to see a dramatic improvement in our environment. As this chart shows, 120 billion – let me repeat, 120 billion with a "B" – beverage containers were wasted by not being recycled in 2001.

If we could raise the nation's recycling rate to 80 percent, we would save the equivalent of 300 million barrels of oil over the next ten years and eliminate 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. States that have enacted bottle bills also have benefited by reducing road side litter by up to 84 percent.

These savings may sound unrealistic. But, in Vermont alone, recycling efforts in 2001 reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 94,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent. That's equal to approximately two-thirds of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion in Vermont and 4.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. To me, those savings sound remarkable.

Why a refundable deposit program? Thirty years of experience demonstrates that refundable deposit bottle bills are dramatically more effective than voluntary efforts. As this chart illustrates, the ten states that have implemented deposit laws recycle more containers than all of the other 40 states combined. While I applaud curbside and other voluntary recycling efforts, the 71 percent of Americans who live in non-bottle bill states account for only 28 percent of recycled beverage containers.

My bill, the National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act of 2003, strikes a balance between the wishes of industry, the authority of individual states, and the needs of a healthy environment. Unlike traditional bottle bills, this legislation would fully harness market incentives by setting an 80 percent recovery performance standard and allowing industry the freedom to design the most efficient deposit-return program to reach the standard. States that already have bottle bills will retain their authority to continue their programs in their own individual ways as long as they meet the national performance standard.

This past Saturday, November 15, 2003, was America Recycles Day in Vermont and across the country. Two years ago, to help commemorate the 2001 America Recycles Day, I participated in a public service announcement to raise awareness regarding the need to buy recycled goods. The importance of recycling deserves, however, more than a 30-second public service announcement and more than its own day on the calendar.

For it to work, recycling must be a commitment of all of ours each and every day of the year. Vermont's commitment to recycling has provided some impressive statistics. For example, in 2001, 31 percent of Vermont's municipal waste was diverted from landfills. That year, 13,260 tons of containers were recycled through soft drink and beer distributors and materials recovery facilities. The benefit of these programs is, of course, that they help keep our Green Mountains green.

I commend and thank Governor Jim Douglas for his many recent initiatives to encourage and improve the efficiency of recycling across Vermont. For example, under Governor Douglas' leadership, Vermont has implemented beverage container recycling programs at 20 state information centers. In the first phase, in less than two months, over 200 pounds of aluminum, glass, and plastic were recovered from 51,000 visitors passing through one such information center in Williston, Vermont.

And today, the U.S. Senate's other Vermonter, Patrick Leahy, joins me and Senators Joseph Lieberman, Daniel Akaka, and John Kerry as original cosponsors as I introduce the National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act of 2003.

Suggestion for Changing BSA Environmental Science Merit Badge Requirements

Being a Boy Scout during the 1970s, I recall earning the relatively new (at that period of time) Environmental Science merit badge as this merit badge was considered to be one of the silver-banded "required" merit badges that are necessary for boy scouts to earn during their advancement toward the highest Eagle (or Eagle Scout) rank bestowed on scouts by the Boy Scouts of America National Council. I recently went online to review the BSA Environmental Science merit badge requirements in light of the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project only to learn that there is strangely not any learning or definition tasks within the BSA Environmental Science merit badge requirements pertaining to either "bottle bill laws" or "container deposit laws", given that almost one-third of the U.S.population (including boy scouts earing the BSA Environmental Science merit badge) reside within states or territories that have existing beverage container deposit laws:
  1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.

  2. Define the following terms: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat, conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction, pollution prevention, brownfield, ozone, watershed, airshed, nonpoint source, hybrid vehicle, fuel cell.

Perhaps even more surprising is the fact the current BSA Environmental Science merit badge requirements do not even specify "litter" anywhere within these merit badge requirements. But in all fairness to the Boy Scouts of America National Council, I have not read through the official BSA Environmental Science merit badge pamphlet in almost thiry years, so that the issue of litter may be addressed under other subject headers such as "pollution prevention" or "resource recovery".

A quick search of the internet also revealed the organizational process by which the Boy Scouts of American National Council reveiws suggestions for both changing existing merit badge requirements (e.g.: Environmental Science) and creating entirely new BSA merit badges:

The answer to the questions above is very basic. In either case, a letter should be written, enclosing the suggested requirements for the merit badge, or the suggested change.

In the case of a NEW merit badge, the letter should also contain a suggested design for the badge. However, you shouldn't expect a speedy reply. The Program Division receives more than 400 merit badge suggestions each year, and they don't act upon any of them for at least a year or two. Every two years, the Boy Scout Program Committee goes through the merit badge suggestions and recommends to the Program Group Director four or five merit badges; it then goes around to other parts of the Program Group for concurrence; and then finally, it goes to the Editorial Service to coordinate and compose the actual merit badge requirements. The BSA's National Executive Board decides if the badge will go or not based upon the Program Group's recommendation. The entire process takes about three to five years. On the other hand, if there are a lot of Scouts and Scouters that feel that this deserves a chance (by writing to National in support of the new merit badge) the process can go a little faster. Hope this helps out!

Bob Torkelson, of Woods Cross, Utah, was curious if the National Council published info from the advancement department about new MBs that were under consideration and ones that were rejected and why. He called the National office and was directed to Terry Lawson, the Director of Boy Scout Advancement, and staff representative to the committee that considers new Merit Badges.

Here some of the things Terry told him:
  • The committee that considers new MBs meets 3 times a year.

  • The new MBs need to promote a hobby or career interest and promote the aims of Scouting.

  • When submitting an idea, you need to include the rationale behind the idea, as well as potential sample requirements for the badge.

  • Nearly all of the ideas for new badges are turned down for one reason or another, very few get tabled for consideration. There are two reasons for this.
    • First, there are currently 121 MBs and instead of growing that number to 200 or 500 they want to keep it around 120, so if a new MB is considered another one is usually dropped. That total has remained fairly consistent for the past 20 years or more, ranging from a high of 124 to a low of 116. [...]

    • Second, it takes around $75,000 to introduce a new MB due to creating the badges themselves, printing of pamphlets, and updating and printing of the Requirement book.

Changes, of course, don't require as complicated a process, but it still can take years for a change to be approved.

The letter should be sent to the Director of the appropriate Program Division, or the Advancement Committee, at the BSA's National Office. The address is:

Director, Boy Scout Program Division
Director, Cub Scout Program Division
Director, Venturing Program Division
Advancement Committee, S209

Boy Scouts of America
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

link: Proposals for New or Revised Merit Badges, Cub Scout Sports Belt Loops and Pins, or other Advancement Requirements Changes

I would also like to read input here at the Tennessee Bottle Bill blog about this issue from the perspective of related Girl Scout merit/activities badges pertaining to Environmental Science...


Tennessee Recycling Coalition:
Bottle Bill "Fallout"

Over the past half year, there seems to be more than just a little "bottle bill fallout" by Keep Tennessee Befuddled affiliate members spilling out over the pages of the Tennessee Recycle Coalition newsletters - a direct result of the Summer 2005 edition of the TRC newsletter featuring the article “Container Deposit Legislation” by Dr. Marge Davis of Scenic Tennessee.

Keep Blount Beautiful volunteer Kristi Kell Falco presented the standard KTB propaganda against the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project (apparently Falco has not been keeping up with her bottle bill reading at the Congressional Research Service - see below article) to the extent that Falco is seeming parrotting the same anti-bottle bill message of Keep Knoxville Beautiful Executive Director Tom Slater.

The main difference between Slater and Falco: recent IRS Form 990s for the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Keep Knoxville Beautiful reveals that Slater was pulling in around $37,500 per year at KKB...

Tennessee Recycing Coalition Newsletter

TRC Board of Directors Meeting
May 17, 2005:

Bottle Bill failed TRC is being looked at to support and help get this to pass. It will be on the agenda again in about 8 months. We can put articles in the newsletter expressing all information. The pros and cons both need to be presented. Jack suggested that we stay abreast of all environmental issues so, TRC can gather the information both pros and cons to present to the membership, and have them vote to determine how TRC will proceed...

Tennessee Recycing Coalition Newsletter - Summer 2005
(article “Container Deposit Legislation” by Dr. Marge Davis of Scenic Tennessee)

Tennessee Recycing Coalition Newsletter - Fall 2005

(“TRC Message from the President” by Christina Treglia)
[regarding “fallout” to Dr. Marge Davis’ article in TRC Summer 2005 newsletter]

Tennessee Recycing Coalition Newsletter - Fall 2005
(“The Importance of Comprehensive Litter Prevention: Why the Bottle Bill Won’t Keep Tennessee Roadsides Clean”)
Editorial By Kristi Kell Falco - Keep Blount Beautiful

New 'Bottle Bill' Legislative Focus: HB 3350

I have recently received email from Dr. Marge Davis of the Scenic Tennessee and the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project web site concerning the new legislative focus of the state house version of the Tennessee 'Bottle Bill' --- the house sponsor is reportedly now directing all effort toward passing a single bill (HB 3350) through the S&L/Local Subcommittee.

It is my understanding that neither the state senate version SB 3616 or the state house version HB 3350 frees retail beverage container dealers in Tennessee from any legal requirement to operate beverage container redemption centers and this particular version of the Volunteer State 'Bottle Bill' should put to rest much (although not all) of the grocery and convenience store industry opposition to the enactment of Tennessee Bottle Bill legislation.

Volunteer to show your love for children --- write, email, and telephone your elected members serving within the Tennessee General Assembly and ask these folks to help protect children in Tennessee from glass lacerations with their enactment of the pending Tennessee Bottle Bill legislation!

Protect the Children: Injury Prevention Study of Glass Lacerations Among Philadelphia Children

Injury Prevention 1998;4:148-149
Reported incidence of injuries caused by street glass among urban children in Philadelphia

Martin A Makary

Objectives—First, to assess the incidence and cause of lacerations sustained by urban children from walking outdoors as well as to identify possible means of prevention. Second, to identify the type of health care sought after injury and to measure the extent of glass litter on the streets.

Setting—Children (18 years of age or younger) in the Ludlow community of Philadelphia.

Methods—A retrospective analysis of lacerations sustained while walking outdoors. A personal survey was conducted with 241 children on a door to door basis. Glass litter was measured by visual inspection of individual streets.

Results—Of 241 children, 83 (34%) had been cut at least once while walking outdoors. Of the 83, 62 were not wearing footwear at the time of injury. The majority of lacerations (86%) were caused by broken glass. Thirty nine of the 83 children received professional medical care for the laceration. Broken glass was estimated to be present on 30% of the outdoor walking area.

Conclusions—Broken glass is a significant health problem on littered urban streets. Preventive measures such as street cleaning, footwear education, and glass recycling incentives are needed to address this public health hazard.

Lacerations rank as the most common pediatric injury that requires a physician evaluation.1–5 Glass is a frequent cause of wounds in patients who present to an emergency department.

Both in England and the US, broken bottle glass has been reported to be the leading cause of lacerations, accounting for 15–27% of all lacerations seen in an urban emergency department.1, 6 However, while many studies have analyzed laceration injuries using emergency department data,1, 6–11 little is known about the out-of-hospital incidence or cause of lacerations in urban communities.

Lacerations due to glass can result in several health problems. Fragments of glass in a wound may lead to persistent pain, delayed healing, increased scarring, neuropraxis, and infection.12–16 In a prospective study of 415 children with cleaned and sutured lacerations in the lower extremities, 8.5% developed an infection.17 In addition, foreign body retention is more common when the wound is caused by stepping on glass as opposed to falling on glass, putting one's hand through glass, or being struck by glass.7 Glass injuries are special because the clinical assessment of the presence of a foreign body is difficult,18 and often insufficient to exclude the presence of retained glass.

This study was prompted by physicians and medical students, who during an urban immunization project, observed a surprisingly high prevalence of children playing without footwear in streets. The purpose of this study was to analyze the extent to which littered urban streets pose laceration dangers and to identify possible areas of prevention. A retrospective investigation analyzed the incidence and cause of lacerations sustained from walking outdoors, with particular attention to the circumstances surrounding injury (that is footwear, tetanus immunization status, and care given after injury) and the extent of glass litter on urban streets.

Of 241 children, 83 (34%) had been cut at least once in their life while walking outdoors. Eight children (10%) had been cut two or more times. The mean (SD) age of a child that had been cut was 8.9 (4.3) years. Most lacerations (81%) were caused by broken glass...

After the laceration had occurred, 24% received a tetanus immunization, and 29% required sutures. Altogether 35% received professional care at a hospital or health center for the injury. Fifty seven urban street blocks were surveyed for glass litter as described in the Methods section. Thirty per cent of the walking area was assessed to be dangerous because of broken glass.

Implications for prevention
In Massachusetts, broken glass recycling [bottle bill] legislation led to a 60% reduction in glass related lacerations in children in the course of one year.8 Such successful legislation is based on the model of providing a small financial incentive for the return of empty containers. The permanence of non-degradable trash, such as metal and glass, compounds the problem from year to year, calling for immediate preventive health action.

Ultimately, strong action is necessary to address broken glass as a health hazard. Glass littered urban streets need to be treated as an important public health problem.

Send this abovemenioned information to your elected members serving within the Tennesee General Assembly (and your local news media representatives) and request that they would help protect Tennessee children from glass lacerations by their enactment of SB 3616/ HB 3350 within the Tennessee General Assembly...


March 22: legislative process moves forward with two Tennessee Bottle Bills.

The Scenic Tennessee Tennessee Bottle Bill Project web site is posting that bottle bill legislation will be brought before Tennessee General Assembly house subcommittee on Wednesday, March 22.

SB3629/HB3347: information provided by the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project states that the first of two Tennessee Bottle Bill proposals --- Senate Bill 3629 / House Bill 3347 --- requires that all dealers operate a redemption center unless they are: located within two miles of an independent redemption center; or have less than 5,000 sq. ft. of interior space; or sell beverages only out of vending machines; or subcontract with an independent redemption center (including reverse vending machines) operating on their premises; or subcontract with a mobile redemption center; or provide a satellite drop-off site serving a centralized processing facility; or can show various physical or financial hardships as defined by the commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation; or meet various other criteria as defined the commissioner.

SB3616/HB3350: the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project also reports that the other version of the Tennessee Bottle Bill, "...Senate Bill 3616 / House Bill 3350, does not require any dealers to operate a redemption center. They may do so, but they are not required to. Like the other version, this one also authorizes the use of reverse vending machines, mobile redemption centers and satellite drop-off sites."

Also from the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project legislation page:
"The "Tennessee Beverage Container Deposit Act of 2006" (House Bill 3350 / Senate Bill 3616) has been put on the calendar of the House Government Operations Committee for Wednesday, March 22. The committee meets from 10 am to 11 am. If it does not get to the bottle bill in that hour, the bill will be "rolled" to the next week.

Strictly speaking, the job of this committee is simply to review the bill's rulemaking provisions before refering it to the next committee (Local Government Subcommittee of the House State and Local Government Committee). However, we're told that the committee often debates the merits of a bill before sending it along. In other words, though they cannot stop the bill, members of this committee can set a tone, and it's to our advantage that that tone be positive. So please, if you have time, contact the committee members (listed below), urging their support.

And having done that, please do the same for members of the State and Local Government Committee [email links to the Tennessee House Members of the S&L Local Government subcommittee are post at this bog], because they CAN stop the bill.

Be sure to visit the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project legislation web page for complete contact information for your elected representatives within Tennessee General Assembly --- be sure have these bill numbers SB3616/HB3350 and SB3629/HB3347 at hand before making your telephone calls to Nashville.


Congressional Research Service 93-114
Must Read 1993 Bottle Bill Report

National Library for the Environment (NLE) _
A universal, timely, and easy-to-use single-point entry to environmental information and data for the use of all participants in the environmental enterprise.

Congressional Research Service Reports [1993]
Redistributed as a Service of the NLE* CRS Reports
93-114 - Bottle Bills and Curbside Recycling: Are they Compatible?
27-Jan-1993; James McCarthy; 34 p.

Abstract: In recent years, both curbside collection and deposit/refund (or "bottle bill") programs have been used to collect materials for recycling. In 1991, both served about 30% of the U.S. population. Along with many other measures, both methods may have a role to play in a comprehensive recycling program. Neither method excludes the use of the other. Nevertheless, many wish to compare the merits of the two systems as alternatives. This report compares the merits of curbside and deposit programs in three respects: amount of material collected; quality of material collected; and financial aspects. The report concludes that: Comparisons between the two systems are difficult to make. Key data (such as the cost of collecting materials) are often not publicly available and can be greatly affected by methodological assumptions. The two methods are not designed to serve exactly the same purposes. In addition to promoting recycling, deposit-refund systems reduce litter generation and make possible the use of refillable beverage containers. Curbside programs, on the other hand, can target a wider range of materials than a deposit system, and thus have the potential to achieve a greater diversion of waste for recycling. Curbside programs are more common in deposit States than in non-deposit States: 43% of the population has access to curbside recycling in deposit States, versus 22% of the population in non-deposit States. Thus, enactment of a bottle bill does not appear to prevent operation of curbside programs. Deposit systems collect more of their target materials than do curbside programs. Return rates in deposit systems range from 72% to 98%. The best curbside programs collect less than 70% of the targeted material -- in many cases, substantially less. Because the bottles and cans are sorted and handled individually when returned to retailers, the materials collected by deposit systems are generally of a higher quality than curbside materials, particularly if the latter are commingled during collection. Deposit-refund systems cost more to operate on a per-ton-collected basis. These additional costs are internalized in product prices. Curbside systems, while costing less, depend on tax revenues, making the ability to maintain or expand levels of curbside service dependent on local government budgets. Deposit systems "skim" potential sources of revenue from curbside programs, but they also reduce operating costs of curbside collection and processing. Studies suggest that local governments would achieve a greater diversion of solid waste from disposal at a lower cost per ton if both a bottle bill and a curbside collection program were in place.

must read report http://www.cnie.org/nle/crsreports/pollution/plgen-3.cfm

Topics: Pollution

* These CRS reports were produced by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress providing nonpartisan research reports to members of the House and Senate. The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has made these reports available to the public at large, but the Congressional Research Service is not affiliated with the NCSE or the National Library for the Environment (NLE). This web site is not endorsed by or associated with the Congressional Research Service. The material contained in the CRS reports does not necessarily express the views of NCSE, its supporters, or sponsors. The information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. NCSE disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall NCSE be liable for any damages.

Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council:
More Fun Than a Barrel Full of Monkeys

Environmental Division
Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council

Suite 400 James K. Polk Office Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0333
Shawn A. Bible, Manager

In 1989 the Governor’s Office [actually the former beer distributor and Tennessee Governor Ned Ray McWherter] issued Executive Order # 28, establishing the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council (KTBC) and endorsing the Keep America Beautiful System. The original Council served from 1989 until 1993. The Council has been recently resurrected and the new Council members met for an orientation session on January 27 & 28, 1998. The goals of KTBC are:

  1. Guide the direction of the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Program/University of Memphis.
  2. Promote and support Keep America System affiliates.
  3. Promote and support local volunteer actions for litter reduction and waste handling.

The Department of Transportation feels strongly that the Council’s work will have a great impact on the future of litter and solid disposal in Tennessee.

For more information concerning the work of the Council, please call Shawn A. Bible at (615) 532.3488 or fax your requests to (615) 532.5995.

The following are a few questions that you can forward to Ms. Bible:

  1. Why doesn't your Keep Tennessee Beautiful Council web site list the names all of the active KTBC members;
  2. email and telephone contact information for each KTBC member;
  3. city and county residence for each KTBC member;
  4. business, industry, government agency, and/or non-profit organization represented by each KTBC member, and;
  5. the total amount of TDOT funding allocated to provide for administrative (e.g salary of KTBC manager), technical, and clerical support of the KTBC?


Patricia's Porch Talk: Ninety-Nine Bottles

Patricia's Porch Talk: Ninety-Nine Bottles
by Patricia Paris
posted February 10, 2006

Patricia Paris
"Take one down, pass it around?!"

Tradition is defined as "generation to generation transfer with no official encouragement," much like the camp songs of our youth.

The Ninety-Nine Bottles song is so old I was unable to track its origins, save a couple of "writer unknown" footnotes, yet it remains alive and lively. Do you think its author would have written the lyrics differently in USA 2006, fingers flying on a keyboard under the spotlight of a gooseneck halogen desk lamp instead of the laborious transfer of ink to quill to parchment? Would a modern songwriter of a song about bottles not grow weary of those repetitive lyrics and write instead about the growing number of bottles tossed into lakes and on roadsides, or left strewn in public parks? Would plastic shopping bags and super-sized drinking cups not be included in the song as well?

Some states have taken a huge bite out of their trash heaps by proposing a deposit on bottles. They guessed correctly that many intelligent, reasonable people would religiously round up their bottles and return them if it would put money in their pockets. With the passing of bottle bills, gathering and returning bottles provides a source of income for the needy, the greedy, and your everyday budget-conscious citizen, while diminishing the number of unsightly bottles and cans along rivers, roadsides, and parks as much as 50 percent.

Rep. Russell Johnson and Sen. Randy McNally are once again trying to combat this growing problem by drafting a new version of the bottle bill that includes several changes from the 2005 bill. The 2006 bill stipulates that $10 million of unclaimed deposits will go to the County Litter Grants Program, increases the container handling fee to 3¢, and increases the maximum container size to two liters. It boggles the mind wondering how this bill was ever defeated in 2005. Pickup programs haven't been able to compete with the growing trash heaps. Educating the public apparently hasn't worked either; the trash is still there and at unacceptable levels.

The bottle bill is not to be confused with a tax. It is not a tax. In simple terms, it means that many bottles will never hit the ground and that for every bottle-tossing jerk, someone much smarter will come along and not only pick behind them (at no expense to us) but also make a few cents on it. The proposed deposit would apply to beer and soft drinks as well as bottled water, juices, and sports drinks with the resultant goal, based on existing programs, of boosting Tennessee's overall redemption rate to as much as 70-80 percent.

If you, the concerned citizens of our beautiful state, share these concerns, I hope you will speak out by expressing them to your legislators.

The Bottles On The Wall camp song will be around for many generations to come, but perhaps a young, poetic mind will pen a litter-free version that collects the deposit on all ninety-nine.

Copyright © 2006 Patricia Paris
Contact: patriciaparis@gmail.com
Patricia Paris is an author/columnist from East Tennessee
Tennessee Mountain Writers;
Int'l Women Writers Association;
Tennessee Writers Alliance;
Chattanooga Writers Guild.


Low-life Litterbugs: Some Truckers Using Milk Jugs as Throw-Away Urinals

‘Urine trouble,’ some states warn truckers
Tens of thousands of ‘trucker bombs’ litter roads

By Miguel Llanos

Updated: 4:00 p.m. ET June 2, 2005

SEATTLE — Roadside litter comes in all shapes and sizes — from dirty diapers to syringes — but there's one category that out-grosses the rest: trucker bombs.

Most drivers whiz along the nation's highways largely oblivious to their roadside surroundings. But next time you are out there, take a closer look.

"As soon as you look for it you’ll see it," says Megan Warfield, litter programs coordinator at Washington state's Department of Ecology. "You just see them glistening in the sun. It’s just gross."

They are trucker bombs, plastic jugs full of urine tossed by truckers, and even non-truckers, who refuse to make a proper potty stop to relieve themselves.

The state hasn't counted how many such jugs are found each year, but a single, small county decided to do its own tally. "In one year," Warfield says, "one crew found 2,666 bottles of urine, 67 feces covered items, not including diapers, and 18 syringes."

It even happens at rest stops. "That’s the mystery," Warfield says. "There’s a bathroom right there, there’s also a trash can."



Protect the Children: American Journal of Public Health Article Documents Effectiveness of Bottle Bill Legislation

An artcle published within the October, 1986 edition of the American Journal of Public Health demonstrated the effectiveness of Massachusetts bottle bill legislation toward reducing the incidence of glass lacerations among urban children.

This research study followed Bay State efforts to enact bottle bill legislation with regard to Massachusetts children being treated for glass lacerations (before and after passage) and attributed a 60% (sixty per cent) decline in reported childhood glass lacerations due to the approval of the Massachusetts bottle law.

American Journal of Public Health
The Impact of 'Bottle Bill' Legislation on the Incidence of Lacerations in Childhood.
Baker, Moore, and Wise.
October 1986. v. 76, no. 10
AJPH Abstract