I conducted a beverage container tally as part of the Blackstone River Watershed Association’s First Annual “Blackstone Valley Riverways Cleanup Day” which took place on Sunday. October 28th. 70 volunteers picked up litter and other trash accumulating along tributaries to the Blackstone River. Per my instructions, any beverage containers encountered by the volunteers were segregated from the rest of the trash into separate bags and brought to the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge. We then separated the bottles and cans into two piles: the “deposit” (redeemable) containers currently covered by the Mass. Bottle Bill; and the non-deposit (non-redeemable) containers not included in the current Mass. beverage container deposit law. We then counted the number of containers in each pile. Here’s how the numbers came out:
# of deposit (redeemable) bottles/cans: 222
# of non-deposit (non-redeemable) bottles/cans: 585
The non-deposit beverage containers outnumbered the deposit beverage containers by a more than 2.6:1 ratio. These results are consistent with the other beverage container tallies I have conducted at other river/Earth Day cleanups and confirm once again that "bottle bills" work to reduce beverage container litter in our landscapes and in and along our waterways.