Aspen History: Original Recyclers |

Aspen History: Original Recyclers

Aspen Historical Society
One b/w photograph of Tony Massaro and Bill Sperry kneeling behind a large pile of empty beer and soft drink cans, 1981. These men were part of an organization called "Coloradoans for Recycling" and were promoting a bill that would further their cause. The article and photo are located in the October 1, 1981 Aspen Times, p. 23B.
Andi Berry

“Drive uncorked for new ‘bottle bill’,” asserted The Aspen Times on Oct. 1, 1981. “The recycling group (Coloradoans for Recycling) is beginning a push to get a bill on the 1982 Colorado ballot which would require that all beer and soft drink containers be returnable, with a minimum of a five-cent refund on each of them. The proposed bill is similar in many ways to one which went down to defeat in the 1976 election, but officials have high hopes for better luck this time around. Opposition to such recycling bills comes from the beverage industry and, says recycling group director Tony Massaro, ‘they outspent us 50 to one in 1976. They spent $500,000 advertising against the bill and we only had $10,000 to spend.’ In 1982, says Massaro, he hopes his group will have raised $100,000 for advertising and that they will be outspent by only 10 to one — and at that level, says Massaro, he thinks the bill will pass. So, with an eye toward raising the necessary money, Massaro and co-worker Bill Sperry are already out, looking for grassroots support. They were in Aspen this week, figuring that this was a good place to look for support since Pitkin County was one of only two counties in the state to vote in favor of the 1976 bill.” This image ran with the article in the newspaper, and was captioned “Tony Massaro, left, and Bill Sperry pose with their passion and their problem: a small (but growing) mountain of no-deposit, no-return soft drink and beer cans. The two men, leaders of Coloradoans for Recycling, were in town this week to begin raising money and grass-roots support for their goal of instituting a required deposit on all such beverage containers.”