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From My Perspective
Dianne Sumida

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Let schools collect
nickels for your
empty bottles, cans

The problems of redeeming beverage containers under the bottle bill are starting to be addressed; however, many people still might not see hauling their garbage to the redemption areas as worthwhile or productive use of their time.

The governor and our lawmakers saw fit to enact this bottle bill. If recycling to keep these containers out of our landfills is the state's concern, shouldn't there be an easier way to redeem these containers?

The 5-cent deposit we pay could be made more appealing to the populace if it had a charitable purpose. It could benefit our schools. Give charity a chance.

Why couldn't recycling areas be set up at our schools where all the redeemable containers may be dropped off? If we could return our clean, rinsed containers at the schools, knowing that the schools would benefit, then many of us would be more inclined to recycle.

Our schools have just come in last in funding of all the 50 states. Our children, their parents and the teachers are all being hurt by our neglectful state. It is appalling that there are not enough textbooks for each student. It is appalling that teachers must use their own money on supplies for their classrooms. Our teachers are already underpaid, yet it is accepted as part of the job to purchase from their own pockets necessary supplies for their classrooms and students.

Now, imagine all the people in the town deliver their recyclable containers to their local school. The recycling rate would be much more effective. This would accomplish the purpose of the bottle bill.

The state of Hawaii saw fit to enact this legislation. The state of Hawaii is responsible for our public schools. The state should be more than willing to pick up these nickel containers, keep a tally for the various schools and once a month produce a check for each respective school.

I imagine the schools could have so much money in their coffers that lack of textbooks would be a thing of the past. Teachers would no longer have to supplement their classrooms with supplies from their hard-earned pay. Even back-to-school supplies could one day be provided by the schools, so cash-strapped parents also would benefit directly from the bottle bill.

In this small way, the advantages and convenience of recycling would be well worth our efforts. However, if the real reason for passing a 5-cent deposit fee for containers is just a thinly disguised form of taxation, then the governor and lawmakers will disregard this suggestion.

Give charity a chance.

Dianne Sumida lives in Kekaha, Kauai.

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