In a recent ”’Hawaii Reporter”’ column (2/04/05), state Sen. Sam Slom asks the public to support his bill calling for the repeal of the recently implemented bottle bill. See story at: “Repeal Hawaii’s Newly Enacted Bottle Bill”

Sen. Slom apparently dislikes the bill for three main reasons: the imposed tax is “onerous,” the redemption process is inconvenient and inefficient, and the bill is not needed as the city is soon to initiate a curbside recycling program.

First, the tax — 1 cent per container — is not onerous. For a family that consumes a 6-pack of soda per day, the weekly tax is a whopping 42 cents, an amount less than a daily paper or a pack of gum. The fact is, I suspect Mr. Slom would describe any tax — even 1 cent per case of containers — as onerous.

Second, there is general consensus that the redemption process needs to be improved. At present, there are too few redemption centers, the hours are too short, and drop-off instructions to the public have been inadequate. Still, the centers have only been open for a little more than a month, and we should give the system more time to smooth its operations. Repealing the bottle bill so soon after its implementation would be unfair and short-sighted, because it would deny the bill any chance for success.

Third, Sen. Slom seems to think that the bottle bill is unnecessary because the city

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