Local Governments

Few entities have as much reason to support sound waste management as local governments, because they—the county commissions, the city councils, the boards of aldermen—oversee the taxpayer dollars spent on recycling programs, they approve the contracts for trash collection, they even decide whether a landfill will close or remain open. Members of these bodies are also, of course, among the first to hear complaints when litter piles up on such-and-such a road, or tires are dumped beside such-and-such a waterway. So it's no wonder that some of the strongest support for a Tennessee bottle bill comes from local governments.

Between 2005 and 2010, when the earlier version of the current deposit-return bill was especially active, 18 county commissions (plus the city councils of Norris and Oak Ridge) voted on resolutions of support for a 5-cent deposit on Tennessee beverage containers, with returns to redemption centers. (The Association of County Mayors also voted to support the measure.)

Of those 21 entities, only one, Greene County, voted against endorsing (Greene County commissioners were heavily lobbied by the beverage and convenience store industries). Of the 17 county commissions voting to endorse a resolution of support, 11 did so unanimously (see the map below).

With a new bill poised for introduction in 2019, TennCan is working now to renew those earlier endorsements and add new ones to the list (Maybe even Greene County.) If you'd like to see your county added, please let us know at We're happy to provide supporting information, give presentations or help put you in touch with supporters in your area. You can download a sample resolution PDF here (or as an editable Word document here); and you can submit an endorsement online here.