Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recycling For Government Waste

Californians could soon be paying new deposits on half-gallon juice jugs, small juice boxes and soy drink containers -- and handing over twice as much as they already pay on some soda and water bottles -- because lawmakers have been raiding the state's recycling fund to help balance the budget.

Officeholders have yet to repay $451 million they've taken from the recycling fund since 2002 to cover the state's bills, siphoning away $100 million this year alone. Recycling and deposit redemptions, meanwhile, have risen amid the recession and the fund is now facing bankruptcy.

Excellent--more new tax money for the government to waste. When private enterprises overspend they are forced to make tough choices. Not true with the government. They just raise taxes. This one is particularly priceless.

Recycling advocates concede that the larger deposits won't pay for new programs. But they say extending deposits to more than 5 billion containers annually will curb the waste that ends up in landfills.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who shepherded the legislation, said it is necessary "to make the program whole and make sure that recycling continues."

"The money's been taken for other purposes," said Bob Achermann, executive director of the California/Nevada Soft Drink Assn. "It seems a bit disingenuous."

In the end, it's always the consumer who foots the bill.

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