Dec 15 - Bottle Bill States Generate Recycling Jobs

Share The Container Recycling Institute recently released a report affirming that Bottle Deposit systems create more jobs than curbside programs. The study, "Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers," was commissioned by the Container Recycling Institute and conducted by two independent researchers.

The study found that Bottle deposit programs create 11 to 38 times more jobs than curbside recycling systems for beverage containers. This make sense since the driver for container-recycling jobs is the number of full-time workers needed to collect, sort and transport the materials. Since Bottle Bill programs generate higher recovery rate (76%) in states with bottle deposits than states without a deposit system (24%), more staff is needed to handle the higher collection volume.

Bottle deposit return systems employ an average of 7.34 full-time employees per 1,000 tons of containers. On the other hand, the study found, curbside systems require an average of 1.66 full-time employees in an automated system and 4.46 in a manual system. That said, Bottle Bill programs complement existing curbside recycling programs.

Californians recycled 82% of beverage containers in 2010. In addition to the jobs generated from collecting and recycling, California is also growing its plastic processing and manufacturing jobs. Thanks to the Plastic Market Development program, more plastic containers collected are now being recycled domestically, closing the loop.

Besides the apparent jobs benefit, there is also environmental benefit to collecting and recycling beverage containers such as reduce littering, decrease landfill volume, and saves energy.

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