Jan 28

Flint: What to Do With Empty Water Bottles?


I have been telling people this over and over again. Why spend a fortune on one time use plastic bottled water, and then toss those bottles into a landfill? Educating people that you can have a solution, that makes water every day for 10-20 years (depending on the model), and you can just refill the same bottle over and over, is difficult. I’m not sure what people don’t get. Sure, the value of some of our larger machines might be higher than what people can afford. However, The amount of money given by the government or charitable organizations to invest in one time use water is such a waste. And that same money could purchase several of our renewable solutions. We saw this when Toledo, Ohio water crisis occurred. The city alone paid over $30,000 in bottled water, not including whatever was spent in donations.

Think about this…what if a city going through a crisis was able to get funding to purchase some of our large units. Then what if they were placed in community locations where people could fill up their own water bottles. Then what happens to the machines once the crisis is over? Why not lease them to the next city in need when that crisis comes around. Or better yet, an organization such as Salvation Army, Red Cross, etc could purchase the machines and just distribute them on an as needed basis wherever they are needed most.

People need to give this some serious thought.

“We have this influx of plastic coming into our community,” said Kris Thiel, vice president of Young’s Environmental Cleanup, a private hazardous waste hauling company that has donated four large recycling receptacles to Flint. In less than 24 hours, one of the bins filled up with a whopping 680 pounds of empty water bottles, Thiel told NBC News.

The bins are filling up faster than the city can empty them — especially since only a sliver of residents are signed up for curbside recycling, according to Michigan Public Radio.

Since officials acknowledged that pipes are leaching lead into the city’s drinking supply, millions of bottles of water have been donated to Flint’s 102,000 residents. Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated a million bottles on Monday, and other celebrities, including the members of Pearl Jam and the Detroit Lions, have sent hundreds of thousands of bottles, too.

In a plea on Wednesday, Flint native Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker, asked people to stop sending bottled water.

“You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person,” he wrote on his website. “That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further).”