Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1 week...1 day

Hey all,

Things here at CURB are going into overdrive as we're getting ready for our BIG day of action in Annapolis next Wednesday (3/7) and hope that you can join us (with friends!)
We'll be meeting at 9:30 at Lawyers Mall (right outside the State House) and moving from there. If you want to come please email us at mdbottlebill@gmail.com with your legislative district. If you can't make it to the hearing but still want to come for the hearing...please do come to show your support
House Environmental Matters committee


Monday, February 26, 2007

We love the Baltimore City Council

Overlooked tonight in the City Council among all the hubbub about new Council members, and a smoking ban passing was an overlooked resolution. 07-0260R introduced by James Kraft which is:

In Support of State Legislation - House Bill 839 - Environment - Recycling -
Bottle Deposits, Returns, and Refunds
FOR the purpose of supporting this legislation that would require bottle deposits,
returns, and refunds on certain beverage containers; requiring a certain person to
pay a refund under certain circumstances; requiring counties in the State to open at
least one redemption center and requiring the redemption centers to be certified by
the Department of the Environment; urging the Honorable Chair and Members of
the House Environmental Matters Committee and the Honorable Chair and
Members of the Baltimore City Delegations to the Maryland General Assembly to
support passage of the legislation and petitioning the Governor to sign the measure
into law.

The Baltimore City Council has introduced a resolution supporting the bottle bill!!! Let's send some letters to the editors and get some people showing that people in Baltimore City supports HB 839!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

1.5 WEEKS!!!

You eating?
You sleeping?

There's so much to do and so little time! We will be getting out all the details for our day of action on the 7th, but what you have to know is to take off, get your walking shoes on and get ready to know your legislators!!! We here at CURB are uber-pumped about this hearing and hope that you will be able to join us at this step to change Maryland for the better!!

Because its the weekend, just one more tidbit and I'll let you go. All us cool kids have Facebook, if you do, join our Bottle Bill group!!!!!! It's fun, exciting and hip (oh, right, we cool kids don't say hip anymore"

9 DAYS!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's coming!!!

Time's closing fast to the day of the BIG BOTTLE BILL BREAKOUT! I'm talking of course about March 7th, the day when the Environmental Matters Committee in the House of Delegates will be hearing the bottle bill, and seeing the sort of tremendous impact it can bring to our state. I hear you all wondering the same thing "what can I do to help? I've already contacted my legislator but I want to do more!!" Well we hear you. And here at CURB we are formulating a plan which includes WHO WHAT WHERE and WHEN. Luckily we already have the why...HB 839.

You can help by writing letters to the editor, having your friends and family contact legislators AND speak to your bosses or professors. See if you can take off some time on Wednesday to join us in Annapolis and send a message that a BOTTLE BILL is coming to Maryland because the citizens want it, and will be ready to let their legislators know.

Stay tuned...more info to come...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A beloved bill

One common statement you will be hearing from people against the Bottle Bill (HB 839) in the upcoming weeks are statements such as

"A bottle bill is so outdated"

"Maybe in the '70's a Bottle Bill was effective, but now forget about it)

"Bottle Bills will be no help within our current market"

"People in States WITH bottle bills aren't big fans of them..."

etc etc etc

Unfortunately, they're incorrect. Try to repeal a bottle bill in a state and you'll find all sorts of advocates complaining and protesting. Bottle Bill's have quickly grown into an institution in many States and are expanding. Still don't believe me? Well, let's look at the State where the Bottle Bill started back in 1975, with an AP article which is in the Examiner...take a look at Oregon!!


Oregon lawmakers say it's time to reclaim 36-year old bottle bill
SALEM, Ore. - Like shag carpeting or a pair of bell-bottom jeans, Oregon's bottle bill was considered a trendsetter when it passed over three decades ago.

Now, some lawmakers say, it's just as dated.

"It's part of being an Oregonian - returning your bottles and cans," said Senate President, Peter Courtney on Tuesday, as a Senate panel opened hearings to retool the current law. "Container use is different today than it was in 1971. It is time for the Legislature to update the bill to cover today's recycling needs."

When it became law in 1971, Oregon's bottle bill was the nation's first recycling initiative that required distributors to issue a 5-cent deposit for each bottle and can returned. The year after it was implemented, the state's recycling rate for glass and aluminum drink containers shot up from about 25 percent to more than 90 percent.

But the state's beverage container recycling rate has slipped to 78 percent - in part because a nickel doesn't go as far as it used to. Accounting for inflation, a 1971 nickel is worth 25 cents today.

And the old bill only covers carbonated beverages like beer and soft drinks - not the bottled water, juices and sports drinks that are ubiquitous among today's consumers.

Lawmakers say the current law needs to be jazzed up so that containers holding everything from green tea to pomegranate juice can be reused and Oregon can again call itself a leader in recycling laws.

But tweaking the current system would likely mean raising the price of drinks by 5 or 10 cents to generate deposit money - a prospect that Oregon's powerful beverage lobby has fought in the past. And the retail community, led by the Northwest Grocery Association, opposes a bottle bill expansion because they say the process can create sanitation problems if fresh food and drippy drink containers share storage space.

But few question the success of the current program. Between 1972 and 2006, 31.5 billion out of 37.5 billion beer and soft drink were returned for deposit, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Other places soon followed Oregon's lead and today 10 states have bottle bills, including Michigan which offers the highest return at 10 cents for each empty bottle and can.

Spearheading the effort to overhaul the current law is Sen. Vicki Berger, R-Salem, whose father, Richard Chambers, proposed the first bottle bill legislation in 1969.

At the first public hearing on the issue on Tuesday, Berger testified in front of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee that passing the original law was a hard-fought contest.

"Big national players came in. There was big money, there was big business, there were big disputes. It was a battle," Berger said. But the law has proved to be an Oregon icon and one that continues to be popular among consumers.

"When you talk to people, it's their bill. They love their bottle bill, they love it that it is part of our mythology."


Eds: The bill is House Bill 2800.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Email Update

Hello Bottle Bill Supporters!
The bottle bill, now known as HB 839, has been introduced!!!!!
The hearing for the bill is scheduled for March 7th at 1:00p.m. We are busy planning an event around the hearing and will keep you updated with details soon.
What you can do to help:
-write your legislators an email or letter either thanking them or asking them for their support (find your representatives at (mdelect.net)
-come to Annapolis on March 7th to show your support, talk to your legislators, and attend the hearing. We need a lot of people there to show lawmakers that we want and need this bill to pass.
-go to http://mdbottlebill.blogspot.com/ to get daily updates, information on writing to legislators and the press, etc.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or extra time that you'd like to offer:)
Thanks again for all your interest and support!
We will be in touch very soon~
C.U.R.B. (Citizens Using Resources Better)

Monday, February 19, 2007

So you want to contact your legislators

I know, I know...you want to contact your Senators and Delegates but don't know how to. Well, good news! The friendly folks from CURB are here to help!

First, the simplest way to discover who represents you in the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) is to go the MDArchives run website mdelect.net and type in your address and city and the information will pop up with the name of the Senators and Delegates who represent you. Pretty cool huh? It gets better. If you click on the name you get their contact page pop up with all the information you need!

Just for the record, we are ALL represented here in Maryland by Governor Martin O'Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

In your letter, fax or phone call emphasize why a bottle bill is good for Maryland and try to include how it will affect you. Don't forget to make sure that your representative knows that you are a voting resident in their district! If you need help writing a letter, formulating a phone call or would like a form we have been handing out email us at mdbottlebill@gmail.com

Finally, our bill has 18 Sponsors (1 Main Sponsors and 17 Co-Sponsors). If you live in their district make sure to give them a pat on the back and a big THANK YOU for their support.
They are:

Delegate Peter A. Hammen, District 46 - SPONSOR
Delegate Saqib Ali, District 39
Delegate Ben Barnes, District 21
Delegate Kumar P. Barve, District 17 - HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER
Delegate Eric M. Bromwell, District 8
Delegate Frank M. Conaway, Jr., District 40
Delegate Guy Guzzone, District 13
Delegate Tom Hucker, District 20
Delegate Anne R. Kaiser, District 14
Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty, District 42
Delegate Heather Mizeur, District 20
Delegate Dan K. Morhaim, District 11
Delegate Doyle L. Niemann, District 47
Delegate John A. Olszewski, Jr., District 6
Delegate Craig L. Rice, District 15
Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg, District 41
Delegate Todd Schuler, District 8 - A EXTRA BIG THANKS FOR ALL OF HIS HELP SO FAR
Delegate Jay Walker, District 26

Keep making noise!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Aren't partners great?

So you've seen us mention bottlebill.org plenty for its great resources, but now we love them even more. We have lately been working with Pat Franklin (of the Container Recycling Institute) preparing for the day of the hearing (March 7th) and were delighted to see our own link on the bottle bill page at http://bottlebill.org/legislation/campaigns/md.htm


As you will see, as we get closer to the hearing date, we will be updating the blog at least daily with fun facts, useful information and anything else you may need. We help with resources, you make the noise, and the State of Maryland benefits...isn't it great?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Things are heating up and as we get more press clippings we'll keep posting them. Here's one from today's Baltimore Examiner:

Bill targets Inner Harbor litter problem
A storm surge pushes discarded bottles and cans, along with other debris, into the Inner Harbor last year.
(Karl B. Hille/Baltimore Examiner)
A storm surge pushes discarded bottles and cans, along with other debris, into the Inner Harbor last year.
Annapolis - The price of a can of soda or bottle of beer in Maryland could go up 5 cents under a proposed bill that would allow residents to turn in bottles at local redemption centers and get their money back.

The bill, proposed by Del. Peter Hammen, D-Baltimore City, who chairs the House Health and Government Operations Committee, would add Maryland to a list of at least a dozen states, including Massachusetts and Michigan, that allow bottle and can redemption.

“We’re trying to address the problem with littering, and bottles are a big part of it,” said Hammen, whose district includes the Inner Harbor section of Baltimore City, where man-made flotsam is a common sight. “Everything that ends up in a storm drain in the city eventually ends up in my district.”

The bill aims to deter littering by giving people an incentive to hang onto their beverage containers for later recycling, Hammen said. Other states with bottle redemption programs have reported recycling rates of up to 70 percent or 80 percent, he said.

Under the bill, counties would be required to establish and regulate the redemption centers, and the collected cans and bottles would be recycled at the county landfill or by a private contractor.

A group of social-work students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, played a role in bringing the bill to the General Assembly this session.

Jake Weissmann, a second-year social-work master’s student, said the idea for a bottle redemption bill came from a community organizing and economic development course he and 15 other students took last semester.

The students researched bottle bills in other states and developed a proposal for Maryland. The class will be lobbying lawmakers and preparing testimony for the bill’s committee hearing, he said.

“Our focus is going to be getting the word out,” he said. “We’re hoping to form some sort of rally on the day the bill goes to committee.”


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The hearing for the bottle bill has been scheduled for March 7th at 1:00 p.m.

We are in the process of planning a rally before the hearing. Details to follow shortly!

Mark your calendars!!! See you in Annapolis!!!


HB 839 was introduced on Friday!!!!

Thanks to our sponsor, Delegate Pete Hammen, and to the 17 co-sponsors who signed onto the bill including Delegate Todd Schuler who has been a tremendous leader on this issue!!!!

If you haven’t already, please contact your representatives to inform them that you want them to support HB 839!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

An old profile

This is an old profile of new Delegates from Baltimore County which was in the Baltimore Examiner. That being said, Delegate Todd Schuler's response is worth noting. A Big supporter of the Bottle Bill (and our first ally), here's his profile

BALTIMORE - The following are brief profiles of the new state delegates from Baltimore County.

Name: Todd Schuler, Democrat

District: 8

Age: 29

Occupation: Workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer

Education: Undergraduate degree from Springhill College, law degree from Tulane University

Residence: Overlea

Committee: Judiciary

Like other county rookies, Schuler said his top goal is simply to get acclimated — with a few lofty goals on the side.

Schuler said he intends to partner with Baltimore City Democrat Del. Peter Hammen to sponsor a “bottle bill” that would establish a 5-cent deposit on recyclable bottles and cans. Schuler said the average recycling rate in states with bottle bills is double that of non-bottle bill states. The program also would create jobs and curb litter and Bay pollution, he said.

“We could also turn around deposit money and invest it in Bay cleanup,” he said. “We’d raise revenue without raising taxes, so it’s an all-around win.”

Assigned to the judiciary committee, Schuler won’t likely see his bottle bill or his other priority: education. Schuler said he is looking forward to working with other county delegates to secure County Executive Jim Smith’s goal of $95 million in state funds for school renovation and construction. Schuler noted the county has the second-oldest stock of public schools in Maryland.

And the noise gets louder

Check out this article from the Gazette. Apparently, Frederick County Commissioner John ‘‘Lennie” Thompson Jr. (R) supports the bottle bill. Several local jurisdictions in Maryland have considered a bottle bill and a statewide bill does achieve their goals!


Also, the bill will be coming soon...are you ready?!?!?