The ten cent incentive

Towards a Minnesota bottle deposit for environmental and social justice

by Amanda Martin | Apr 02, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

In Minnesota on average 142,000 tons of beverage containers are thrown in the trash each year!
These wasted bottles and cans end up in landfills, incinerators, beaches, parkland, roadsides, streams, lakes, rivers and oceans causing injury to humans, domestic animals, wild-life and marine life. New bottles must be manufactured from scratch resulting in the unnecessary use of natural resources and emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases. A bottle deposit program in Minnesota to promote recycling just makes cents!
Our idea is to create a modified pilot program in the Saint Paul metro area to promote a Minnesota bottle deposit. We would use the funding to install bottle deposit stations in local markets, educate consumers about the benefits of a bottle deposit program and how to return their bottles, and provide a pool of money to be given out for returned bottles. Education efforts would also focus on sharing recycling success stories of neighboring states that have a bottle deposit program. Bypassing the long implementation process for a bottle deposit program,which includes introducing state legislature and a cost increase for bottled and canned products,this program will provide immediate benefits to the city of Saint Paul. Saint Paul and its citizens will become a shining example for the people of Minnesota to rally around to support a statewide bottle deposit program. Our idea will result in a sustainable program to increase recycling and reduce litter for the city of Saint Paul, while encouraging the rest of the state to follow its lead.

*Idea is a collaboration between Amanda Martin and Dane Mclain*

About You

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About You

First Name

Amanda

Last Name

Martin

City

Saint Paul

County

USA

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

Dane Mclain

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

As a Lite-Brite volunteer pegger.

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Your idea

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Title of your idea

The ten cent incentive: Towards a Minnesota bottle deposit for environmental and social justice

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

In Minnesota on average 142,000 tons of beverage containers are thrown in the trash each year!
These wasted bottles and cans end up in landfills, incinerators, beaches, parkland, roadsides, streams, lakes, rivers and oceans causing injury to humans, domestic animals, wild-life and marine life. New bottles must be manufactured from scratch resulting in the unnecessary use of natural resources and emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases. A bottle deposit program in Minnesota to promote recycling just makes cents!
Our idea is to create a modified pilot program in the Saint Paul metro area to promote a Minnesota bottle deposit. We would use the funding to install bottle deposit stations in local markets, educate consumers about the benefits of a bottle deposit program and how to return their bottles, and provide a pool of money to be given out for returned bottles. Education efforts would also focus on sharing recycling success stories of neighboring states that have a bottle deposit program. Bypassing the long implementation process for a bottle deposit program,which includes introducing state legislature and a cost increase for bottled and canned products,this program will provide immediate benefits to the city of Saint Paul. Saint Paul and its citizens will become a shining example for the people of Minnesota to rally around to support a statewide bottle deposit program. Our idea will result in a sustainable program to increase recycling and reduce litter for the city of Saint Paul, while encouraging the rest of the state to follow its lead.
*Idea is a collaboration between Amanda Martin and Dane Mclain*

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This project uniquely draws attention to the positive outcomes of a bottle deposit. The potential benefits are numerous. Data from our neighbor, Iowa, shows that their bottle deposit leads to a recycling rate of 86%, compared to 2013 Minnesota’s 35% recycling rate. Studies show that a bottle deposit would also raise approximately $90 million per year in state funds from un-recouped bottles, and it would significantly decrease the $200 million state container waste disposal budget. Our idea will result in awareness and support for this hugely beneficial program. It will help people to realize the positive outcomes which include: increased recycling rates, monetary returns for program compliance, alternative employment opportunities empowering people from all socioeconomic classes.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Our idea will result in increased recycling in Saint Paul. This increase will benefit local recycling plants and result in cleaner city streets, sewers, and all of the lakes and streams that feed into our Mississippi River. There will be opportunities for schools and local organizations to raise money through can and bottle drives. Additionally, this program will create an opportunity to increase both environmental and social justice. States with bottle deposit programs have shown high recycling rates with much of it carried out as a kind of alternative employment by low income people. A bottle deposit will empower Saint Paul city dwellers with a consistent source of income that will results in the beatification of their living environment.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The Saint Paul community will experientially learn how a bottle deposit program works and all of its benefits. These benefits will be clear from the lack of litter in our city and parks as well as the extra money for people who need it most. Data can be collected to support a larger effort to bring a Minnesota bottle deposit bill to the legislature. Minnesotans are environmental stewards who support programs that promote sustainability. This project positions our state capital to lead the effort in implementing a program to increase recycling, environmental justice, economic opportunities, and city beautification. The rest of the state can follow this example by supporting a statewide bottle deposit program. This truly is a Saint Paul challenge having positive impacts lasting forever.

jandayangacho2013 jandayangacho2013 said: Social justice can be best achieved with your knowledge around you. - Aldo Disorbo about this Competition Entry. - 2581 days ago read more >

Amanda Martin updated this Competition Entry. - 2853 days ago

Amanda Martin submitted this idea. - 2853 days ago