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HomeNewsArchivesTO MAKE LITTER GO AWAY, MAKE RECYCLING PAY

TO MAKE LITTER GO AWAY, MAKE RECYCLING PAY

A reader who calls both St. Thomas and New York home says getting rid of litter in the Big Apple was a simple matter of common cents.
Dear Source:
I read your March 28 editorial on roadside garbage. While I don't know the cure for it, I can tell you one thing I have seen as fact. In New York City we have always had a litter problem, and at one point you couldn't walk down the street without seeing broken glass from soda or beer bottles, and cans were everywhere. Today, since the deposit laws enacted in the late 1980s, it has all but disappeared, and a cottage industry has grown up around recycling and redemption.
There are some who would call this work demeaning – but not, I'm sure, those who are able to feed themselves from it. Of course, there are those who cry about the cost of paying a deposit. But that's because they find it easier to throw their empties out their car windows. If it's the money they're upset about, all they need do is return the containers.
And then, of course, there are the additional benefits: All those cans and bottles don't fill the dump. As for the government, it gets to split all the unredeemed nickels with the bottlers who were the biggest crybabies – until they realized how much extra money they would make.
B. Dunn
New York City and St. Thomas

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