Special Report

What Your State Will Pay You to Recycle

Hristina Byrnes

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The Baked Bean State accepts beer, malt, soft drinks, and mineral water containers that have to be either a sealable bottle, can, jar, or carton. Each is worth 5¢. Also, they have to made of glass, metal, plastic or a combination of the three. Biodegradables — containers that can decay naturally — are excluded.

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Michigan pays 10¢ for beer containers, wine coolers, canned cocktails, soft drinks, and mineral water bottles. They have to be airtight, under one gallon, and made of metal, glass, paper, or plastic.

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Minnesota has been upgrading its recycling program, introducing commercial composting and installing new collection stations. A statewide recycling refund program has been recommended.

It proposed a deposit of 10¢ for every beverage container of up to one gallon. Containers could be for beer, malt, wine, distilled spirits, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, flavored and unflavored bottled water, fruit juice, milk, and tea and coffee drinks, regardless of dairy-derived content.

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Mississippi throws out enough garbage a year to cover 600 football fields, and 40% to 60% of it is recyclable. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was accepting grant proposals from possible new cooperative recycling systems or the expansion of existing ones. A total of about $1 million was available.

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State law encourages government agencies to buy and use products made from recycled materials when the product’s price is within 10% of the price of the same type of product made from non-recycled materials. Particular emphasis is put on recycled oil, retread tires, compost, and recycled paper.