Tennessee creates new beverage container recycling incentive

Tennessee creates new beverage container recycling incentive

By Henry Leineweber, Resource Recycling

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a bill designed to encourage the recycling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

Senate Bill 941 will permit a solid waste district to multiply the gross weight of any diverted aluminum cans and plastic bottles by three. Backers of the bill say this would enable regions to more easily reach diversion and recycling goals while encouraging the recovery of cans and bottles.

SB 941 was originally written to include a ban on the landfill disposal of these types of beverage containers, but during the amendment process that language was stricken and replaced by the triple-counting of diverted pounds of beverage containers. After being amended, SB 941 passed the Tennessee Senate unanimously; it moved through the House with only one dissenting vote.

"Aluminum cans and plastic bottles aren't trash," said Will Sagar, executive director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council. "We are pleased that the Tennessee Legislature recognizes that aluminum cans and plastic bottles are natural resources that have markets ready and waiting to pay for them if consumers separate them from trash and recycle them."

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