Group hopes to battle litter through bottle bill proposal

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – It’s not an unusual occurrence to see bottles and cans on the side of the road.

It’s trash, and though you can get fined, littering to some is still a problem.

“I think it’s getting worse. I’ve seen it in a number of places.,” Jim Watson said.

Watson is a part of a group in Tennessee hoping to change the litter problem through a proposed bottle bill.

The legislation would create a new deposit system for cans and bottles to help cut down litter.

“It’s a win-win for everybody. The environment gets cleaner. The bottlers get a cleaner source of material that they can recycle and make more bottles and cans,” Watson said.

Watson said if passed, the legislation would create a system where people would spend an extra five cents to buy certain beverage bottles and cans.

They could then get that nickel back by going to a redemption center to recycle the bottle or can.

“It’s basically just using their nickel to give them an incentive to bring the bottle and can back to the recycling center,” Watson said.

Other states have similar programs.

But Watson said that the program they envision will be a little different in that the redemption centers could be ran by non-profits.

“The non-profit can make some money whether it be a school, a church, a concerned group of citizens, but it won’t be a government agency. There’s very little government involvement in this,” Watson said.

“Everybody wins except the people that throw the bottles and cans out of their car and don’t care about it,” Watson said.

The hope is to have a bill proposed in the next state legislative session.

That would be next January.

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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