A proposal to impose deposits on cans and bottles in the commonwealth died a predictable death in a legislative subcommittee, but will be considered as part of a later, broader discussion on recycling issues.
The measure by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) would have imposed deposit charges of up to 15 cents on beverage containers, to be returned to consumers when items were turned in for recycling.
In testimony before the relevant subcommittee, Hope said such a measure could increase by 1.2 billion the number of beverage containers recycled annually in the Old Dominion.
But even Hope admitted the proposition probably was not ready for prime time.
“This is something that needs to be studied further,” he said. “This is a win-win situation – if we can get it right.”
The proposal is likely to be referred to the commonwealth’s Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force, which could come back with recommendations in future legislative sessions.
The measure, HB 826, was “laid on the table” (killed for the session) on 10-0 subcommittee vote. Several Democrats initially voted the other way, until Hope told them he was fine with the decision of the Republican majority.
Even some Democrats on the panel thought it was best to hold off on the measure.
“I want to do it the right way; I’m not sure this is the best way,” said Del. Rodney Willett (D-Henrico).
The subcommittee’s chairman, Del. Michael Webert (R-Marshall) promised that the measure would be forwarded to the waste-diversion task force for consideration.
“We will add this,” he said.