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WASHINGTON DC BLIGHT CONTROL INITIATIVE
This initiative changes the laws of the District of Columbia to:
Require a 5 cent deposit on all containers that are used for the consumption of beverages be they alcoholic or non-alcoholic or be the container is made from plastic, glass, aluminum or any other materiel that contains a beverage which is sold within the limits of the District of Columbia. With this measure, an increased participation by business and residents will create a litter free District of Columbia.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE ELECTORS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. That [th]is act may be cited as the "Washington, DC Blight Control Initiative of 1998."
Sec. 2. Purpose
The purpose of this act is to encourage manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and consumer of beverages to reuse and recycle beverage containers, thereby reducing litter in the streets, parks and playgrounds, minimizing the incidence of injuries caused by broken glass, decreasing the cost of solid waste disposal and the need for future landfill space, and creating new jobs and opportunities for the residents of the District of Columbia.
Sec. 3 Definitions. For the purpose of this act the term
1. "Beverage" means beer malt beverages, mineral water, soda water, mixed wine drinks or wine coolers, wine, whiskey, champagne, drinking water, distilled water, milk, sports drinks, or any other beverage sold for human consumption.
2. "Beverage Container" means any individual separate sealed plastic, glass, or metal can or bottle containing a beverage. The term "beverage container" does not include cups and other open receptacles. Refillable beverage container carrying a distributors deposit of 10 cents or more are not affected by this act.
3. "Clean" means free or dirt, soil, or foreign matter and containing nothing other but air and the residue of the beverage which constitutes the original contents of the container.
4. "Consumer" means any person who purchases a beverage in a beverage container for use or consumption with intent to resell.
5. "Container Markings" means for cans a printed or embossed message in lettering no less than ¼" in height on the lid of the can, and for glass, plastic, cardboard and any beverage container developed in the future, a printed message on the label of no less than ¼" inch in height, such print to contrast in color with the label background.
6. "Dealer" means any person in the District of Columbia who engages in the sale to consumers of beverages in a beverage container.
7. "Distributor" means any person, firm, or corporation which engages in the sale to dealers of beverages in beverage containers.
8. "District" means the District of Columbia.
9. "Food Vendor" means a person selling beverages in beverage containers to consumers from a mobile unit and operating exclusively on public space.
10. "Handling Fee" means a fee of 2 cents per container which shall be paid by the distributor to the dealer, redemption center or redemption service, for each container redeemed by the dealer, redemption center or redemption service and picked up by the distributor.
11. "Mayor" mean the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
12. "Person " mean any individual, partnership, corporation, or any other organization.
13. "Redemption Center" means a facility for receiving returned beverage containers as authorized by Section 7.
14. "Redemption Service" means a service for collection and sorting beverage containers to be returned to the dealers as authorized by Section 7.
15. "Reverse Vending Machine" mean an unattended device accepts a beverage container in return for the established refund value.
16. "Vending Machine" means an unattended device which dispense beverages in beverage containers in exchange for the purchase price of the products.
17. "Vending Machine Operator" means the person in possession of property on which one or more vending machines are placed and who does not sell beverages in beverage containers
Sec. 4 Refund Value Required.
Every beverage container in which beverages are sold or offered for sale in the District of Columbia after January 1st, 1999, shall have a cash refund value of not less than five cents. Containers holding 24 ounces or more shall have a refund value of 10 cents. Containers holding 48 ounces or more shall have a refund value of not less than 15 cents.
Sec. 5 Acceptance for Refund.
(a) After January 1st, 1999.
(b) For the purposes of subsection (a), the term "dealer" shall not include a person selling beverages to consumer only for consumption on the premises.
(c) For the purposes of subsection (a), the term dealer shall not include vending machine operators or food vendors.
(d) Beginning January 2nd, 1999, no distributor shall refuse to accept from a dealer, redemption center, or redemption service, any beverage container of a brand sold by the distributor which is marked pursuant to section 9, nor shall the distributor refuse to pay by cash or check to the dealer, redemption center or redemption service the refund value of a beverage container as established pursuant to section 4, in addition to a handling fee as establish[ed] by section 3(9). In order to be entitled to the payment, the dealer must present the containers at the time and location of any delivery of filled beverage containers made by the distributor to the dealer. In order to be entitled to the payment, the redemption center or redemption service must present any beverage container at its place of business in the District at a time mutually agreed to with the distributors.
Sec. 6. Vending Machines and Food Vendors.
(a) After January lst, l 999:
Sec. 7. Redemption Centers and Redemption Services.
(a) Any person may establish a redemption center for the purpose of receiving clean beverage containers for the refund value of the container. Redemption Centers may also accept other materials for recycling.
(b) Every redemption center must post a conspicuously a sign indicating the brands of beverage containers acceptable for refund and hours the center is open.
(c) Any person may establish a redemption service for the purpose of collecting, sorting and paying the refund value of beverage containers have been returned to dealers, redemption centers or other locations.
(d) No distributor shall refuse to collect from any redemption center or redemption service at its place of business in the District a quantity in excess of 10,00 beverage containers of brands sold by the distributor, and shall make such collection within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and holidays) of the time of notification by the redemption center or redemption service that a collection is required.
(e) No distributor shall refuse to pay a redemption center or redemption service within 2 weeks of accepting a quantity of beverage containers, a sum equal to the refund value of the containers plus a handling fee
Sec. 8. Packaging.
Beginning January 2nd, 1999, no dealer or distributor shall sell or offer for sale in the District any beverage in a container so designed and constructed that a part of the container is completely detachable when the container is opened without the aid of a can opener. Beverage containers with screw tops or bottle caps may be sold or offered for sale.
Sec 9. Beverage Container Markings.
Beginning January 2nd, 1999, no distributor or dealer shall sell or offer for sale in the District a beverage in a beverage container that does not have securely affixed to its beverage container marking with the following information:
(1) The letters "DC"; and
(2) The refund value of the beverage container as established in section 4.
Sec. 10. Authority to Promulgate Regulations.
The Mayor shall issue such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the purpose of this Act, in accordance with the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stature. 1204: D.C. Code §1-1501 et seq.).
Sec. 11. Penalties for Violation: Injunctions Authorized.
(a) Any person who violates any provision of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not exceeding $300 for each offense. Each day during which a violation is committed, or permitted to continue, shall constitute a separate offense.
(b) The Mayor may institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of the District for injunctive relief or other appropriate action to enforce or to correct violations of this act.
Sec. 12. Provision for Private Suit.
(a) Any person may commence a civil action in the Superior court of the District on his or her own behalf against any person who is alleged to be in violation of this Act.
(b) No action may commence under this section:
(c.) The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this section, shall award cost of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any prevailing party who commences a suit under this section, unless the court determines such award would be inappropriate.
Sec. 13. Severability.
If any portion of this Act is held invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed to be a separate, distinct, and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of any remaining provisions
Sec. 14. Effective Date.
This Act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in Stature §602(c )( 1 ) of the District of Columbia Self Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c.)(1)).
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