Update from Annapolis

Trash Free Maryland is very busy in Annapolis right now, working the General Assembly to pass three bills to reduce trash in neighborhoods and waterways across the state.

The three bills are

– disposable bag fee for Maryland. This is the same bill we’ve been working for three years; it would enact the same 5-cent fee in DC and Montgomery County for the whole state.
– enabling legislation to allow Prince George’s County to create its own bag fee. Again, this is the same as the last two years. See www.CleanPrinceGeorges.com for info.
– a statewide bottle deposit. To learn what a bottle deposit is, see our recent article. Learn more about the campaign at Recycle for Real.

Together these bills will dramatically reduce trash in our neighborhoods, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. All three bills have significantly stronger support in the Assembly this year than they have in the past. However, we still have a lot of work to do.

Prince George’s:
A subcommittee vote could happen as soon as next week. We need to generate lots of calls and show citizen support to the delegates. Here’s what you and your members can do:

1. Go to www.CleanPrinceGeorges.com to learn more and sign up for updates.
2. Go to www.mdelect.net and look up your state legislators. Call them and say you support the bag fee (both county and statewide) and you hope they do too.
3. Help us phone bank. The first event will be Monday, January 21 from 5 to 7 pm. You may be able to contribute from home. We need 5 volunteers for this.
4. Help us collect signatures from county residents. These events are every Saturday morning.
5. Meet with your legislator. I can help you set this up. You can also come to the Environmental Summit on January 29 from 4:30-6, in Annapolis. More info here.

Statewide bag fee and bottle deposit:
These bills haven’t been introduced yet but we still need to show strong citizen support. Here’s how you and your members can help:

1. Go to Recycle for Real to learn more about the bottle bill and sign up for updates.
2. Go to www.mdelect.net and look up your state legislators. Call them and say you support the bag fee and bottle deposit and you hope they do too.
3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Describe how litter affects you. I have a tip sheet ready if you need it.
4. Meet with your legislator. I can help you set this up. You can also come to the Environmental Summit on January 29 from 4:30-6, in Annapolis. More info here.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any additional information. I have fact sheets and petitions ready to go and can print copies for you. I am also available to present at community meetings.

Also, please let me know if your group is interested in joining the Trash Free Maryland Alliance and/or signing on to the Clean Prince George’s coalition. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for your great work improving our communities!

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