This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Friday, April 29, 2005

Of bottle returns, and the silly New Brunswick way

New Brunswick, the province where I live, has a bottle return policy. When you buy any kind of container full of liquid, such as juices or pop or whatnot, you have to pay a 10 cent deposit on that container. If you buy a case of those plastic drink boxes that you have to puncture with the straw that's attached and there're 24 of those boxes in a case, you have to pay that 10 cent deposit on each unit in the case, in this case 24 * 0.10 = $2.40 in addition to whatever the case itself costs.

This is to force people to recycle them, I guess. You collect all your empties(which you're supposed to wash after use, for some reason), then throw them all in a plastic bag and drag them(or drive them) to the nearest bottle return facility. They will then open your bags(by tearing them open), count the units you're returning(and make fun of the dirty ones), then give you a little chit to take to the cashier, who will run it through a calcalator using the formula Refund = X * 0.05, and give you your money.

Look at the formula again. That's right. You get only half your money back. You might wonder why. Well, so do I. In theory, the other five cents per unit goes to the bottle return company, which has to pay the employees, and also make a profit for itself, too. The situation probably isn't as bad as you'd think; there're a lot of empty bottles out there, and the bottle return place also handles beer bottles, and since this is New Brunswick, there're a lot of those.

What is really irritating, though, is that when you go to a restaurant and ask for a Coke, sometimes they serve them in cans and you have to pay deposit on those. But since most people leave their empties in the restaurant, the place not only gets your ten cents, but it also gets the five cent return price. Go to the food court in a mall, and it's the same thing.

Why can't we just take them to the dump? You don't have to pay people there anything extra to handle bottles, and we could get all our money back? Or better yet, just build the deposit into the purchase price and send it all back with the garbage. I know they go through our garbage at the dump anyway, so why not make them separate the bottles there?

If the tree-huggers out there don't like that idea, then why not do it the Oshawa, Ontario way? No deposit, but bottles have to be separated out at the curb for pickup by the garbage truck. There's a schedule when bottles get picked up, and they have to be in special boxes or the g/m won't take 'em. No muss, no fuss, no deposit, no return. Simple. Why make our lives harder than they already are?

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