Virginia does not force her citizens to pay refundable deposits on beverage containers and should continue to resist the idea. In other states, this system has created more problems than it has solved with consumers picking up the tab for an inefficient waste disposal system. As a better alternative, Virginia’s beverage industry contributes excise taxes that are collected under a special litter control and recycling tax used to promote cleanups and recycling. The over $1.8 million in grants provided to localities over the last fiscal year produced more than $14.6 million in matching funds and services all used to collect litter, promote recycling, and educate Virginians about keeping our state clean. The return on investment when volunteer hours and other factors were considered was almost 1222%.
The industry funds collected are overseen by the Litter Control & Recycling Fund Advisory Board. The members of this Board receive no reimbursement for their service. Some have suggested the elimination of the Board; the VBA feels the Board serves a vital service in ensuring these funds are expended in an efficient and effective manner. The Litter Control and Recycling Fund Advisory Board costs Virginia nothing. Its five members volunteer their time to coordinate Virginia’s unique community based litter control and recycling programs involving more than 300 localities.