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Letter: ‘Wasteful and annoying’ deposit proposal would cause problems

To the editor,

Democrats at the Capitol are pushing a plan to require Minnesotans to pay a 10 cent deposit on almost all beverage containers. While seemingly well intentioned, this proposal will result in reducing recycling rates, wasting the time of consumers and costing you more money.

Under their plan, you pay more to purchase milk, pop, and almost all beverages in a container. In order to get your money back, you must sort and separate your cans and bottles, and store them in your garage where they can attract bugs and rodents until you make the trip to a redemption center where you would be partly or fully refunded for the up-front cost.

Contrast this with a system many Minnesotans already utilize called single sort recycling. Under single sort recycling, you put all your recyclables (not just glass and aluminum, but also newspapers, junk mail, plastic, cardboard, etc.) into one collection basket. Then your local recycler picks up your recycling along with your trash. Simple. Cost effective. And yes, good for the environment. Last year the city of Minneapolis went to single sort recycling and reported a 63 percent increase in the recycling rate of their community.

Recyclers currently help pay for this single sort recycling by selling scrap aluminum they have collected. Removing that revenue stream will no longer allow for single sort recycling to be cost effective. This will result in more newspaper, cardboard, and plastic going into landfills as opposed to these items being recycled.

Requiring extra costs and creating a new bureaucracy to oversee a program to facilitate the recycling of bottles and cans would be a great deal for those who want more government, but not for the citizens who recycle, and not for the environment either. Replacing a convenient and effective system like single sort recycling is likely to reduce recycling even as it inconveniences you. This is just another example of Democrats seeking to grow government at your cost, and without considering the unintended consequences.

I ask that you call your public officials and urge them to reject the Democrats' attempt to increase the price you pay for your milk, pop, and other beverages. Single sort recycling makes recycling easy, convenient and cost effective. Democrats need to get the message to not send this environmentally responsible idea to the political landfill.

Rep. Patrick Garofalo,


Patrick Garofalo is State Rep. for District 58B, which includes Farmington