This photo was taken inside my garage, which has become a graveyard for beer and soda bottles waiting to be returned to the store, actually make that two stores, since I will need to go to both a liquor store for my craft beer bottles and a grocery store for the rest.
(And I can tell from the winter brew labels, that many of these containers have been here since at least last Christmas.)
The photo below is the City of Newton-issued, taxpayer-funded, single stream recycling bin which takes away my family’s water, juice and any other non-carbonated drink containers weekly.
In November voters will go to polls to consider a ballot question that would essentially require that we schlep those any water, juice and any other non-carbonated drink containers to the store too — or else sacrifice the nickle deposit that will be added to their purchase.
Now I consider myself an environmentally sensitive fellow. I bring recycling home from the office, since we have no pick up there. Last night I brought home two plastic cups from a restaurant in Norwood because the fellow there told me they don’t recycle. And earlier this year I actually signed the expanded bottle bill petition.
But now I’m having second thoughts.
I just don’t get why we should have to drag those bottles to the store when we can place them at our curb and achieve the exact same objective.
And before you say, “But Greg, this is Newton, what about the rest of the state?” note that 90 percent of Massachusetts households already have some type of municipal recycling.
I also don’t agree with George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts — and a fellow I often agree with — when he told the Herald that if voters expand the bill, “there’s no cost to the consumer; everyone gets their nickel back and we end up with cleaner roads and cleaner parks.”
Sure there’s a cost. There’s my time and there’s the fossil fuel we’ll use bringing them to the store. And there’s the ugliness of having to look at all those containers gaining dust in my garage.
I’m open to doing the right thing for the environment on Nov. 4. I’m open to changing my mind on this. But right now, I’m just not seeing the reason to support this.