California lawmakers are considering new beverage-container recyling deposits that could raise millions for the state to help balance the budget.
California lawmakers are considering new deposits on half-gallon juice jugs, small juice boxes and soy drink containers, as well as doubling the deposits on some soda and water bottles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The paper reported that $100 million has already been siphoned away from the state’s recycling fund this year to help balance the budget -- in all, $451 million has been taken from the recycling fund since 2002 to cover the state's bills.
The plan to expand California’s recycling policies has already been passed by the legislature. It would impose new 5-cent deposits on some containers and double existing deposits on an estimated 5 billion other containers every year. Buyers can still get their deposits back by turning in the empty containers. The measure now hinges on the approval of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not taken a public position on the measure.
Under the new plan, an estimated $295 million more would be raised every year by applying the increased deposits on beverage containers, according to the Department of Conservation.
Opponents are calling the legislature’s proposal a hidden tax, while environmental groups are hoping it will help curb the waste that ends up in landfills.
If approved by Schwarzenegger, the new deposits would go into effect July 1, 2010.