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September 24, 2009

News Channel 8

Cash For Bottles And Cans Idea Gaining Steam

Tulsa - An Oklahoma Lawmaker wants to add a five cent deposit to all beverage bottles and cans in hopes to raise some much needed money for the Oklahoma.

Early estimates show this could add more than $9 million dollars a year into state coffers, but who's really paying?

Right now, eleven states nationwide already have a bottle bill in place and seven more have current campaigns pushing the idea.

And Oklahoma could be next on the list.

NewsChannel 8's Jerry Giordano caught up with several shoppers who say they like the idea.

Marca Davis is out doing some grocery shopping and a staple on her list is soft drinks.
"We probably drink 2 liters a week mostly A&W(root beer) and coke," Davis explains.

And what becomes of the empties has become a source of debate here in Oklahoma. One lawmaker from Seminole is proposing a 5 cent deposit on each beverage bottle and can. Proponents say it could raise millions for Oklahoma's struggling economy.
But not everyone thinks that 5 cent deposit is such a great idea.  In fact, one powerful group is already speaking out.

The Oklahoma Grocers Association opposes the change, presumably because of money, facilitating those returns can be very expensive.

In fact, just one sorting machine can cost 80-thousand dollars. But money aside, there is also environmental issues at work.
If bottles are worth actual money there shouldn't't be as much litter. Shopper John Hambrick has seen it work.

"I travel a lot and go to states where they do this and to tell the truth their common areas are a lot cleaner."

Several states already have the nickel deposit. In Michigan it's ten cents.

But you only get that money if you do the work, and bring the bottle back.
That's where Marca has a disconnect.

"No I'd probably put it in the recycle bin. I'm too lazy."

State Representative Ryan Kiesel (D) from Seminole plans to introduce the "Bottle Bill" during the next legislative session.


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