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Recycling in Wichita: Be Careful What You Wish For

The Wichita Eagle editorial board, particularly Randy Scholfield, has been pressing for mandatory recycling. Here’s an example of the type of legislation we might see if reason fails us:

AN ACT concerning newspapers, and the recycling thereof, in observance of our state’s relationship to Nature, and general lack of trees within this State.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

Definitions.
Sec. 1. As used is this act:
(a) “Newspaper” means a publication printed primarily on newsprint, usually daily.
(b) “Recyclable newspaper” means a newspaper upon which a deposit of at least 10 cents has been paid, or is required to be paid upon the removal of the newspaper from the sale or reading area.
(c) “Dealer” means a person who sells or offers for sale to consumers within this state a newspaper, including an operator of a vending machine containing a newspaper, and including a person operating a delivery route.
(d) “Distributor” means a person who sells newspaper to a dealer within this state, and includes a manufacturer who engages in such sales.
(e) “Manufacturer” means a person who prints newspapers for sale to distributors, dealers, or consumers, with a daily circulation of 75,000 or more.
(f) “Sale or consumption area” means the premises within the property of the dealer where the sale is made, within which newspapers may be read without payment of a deposit, and, upon removing a newspaper from which, the customer is required by the dealer to pay the deposit.

Sec. 2.
(1) A dealer shall not, within this state, sell, offer for sale, or give to consumers a nonrecyclable newspaper.
(2) A dealer who regularly sells newspapers for reading off the dealer’s premises shall provide on the premises, or within 100 yards of the premises on which the dealer sells or offers for sale a returnable newspaper, a convenient means whereby the newspaper of any kind, size, and brand sold or offered for sale by the dealer may be returned by, and the deposit refunded in cash to, a person whether or not the person is the original customer of that dealer, and whether or not the newspaper was sold by that dealer.
(3) A dealer shall not refuse to accept from a person a read recyclable newspaper of any kind, size, and brand sold by that dealer, nor refuse to pay to the person its full refund value in cash.
(4) A dealer who does not require a deposit on a recyclable newspaper when the contents are read in the dealer’s sale or reading area shall not be required to pay a refund for accepting that read newspaper.
(5) A distributor shall not refuse to accept from a dealer a read recyclable newspaper of any kind, size, and brand sold by that distributor, nor refuse to pay to the dealer its full refund value in cash.
(6) Every newspaper sold or offered for sale by a dealer within this state shall clearly indicate by embossing or by a stamp, a label, or other method securely affixed to the front page, the refund value of the newspaper and the name of this state. A dealer or distributor may, but is not required to, refuse to accept from a person a read recyclable newspaper which does not state on the front page the refund value of the newspaper and the name of this state.
(7) A dealer within this state shall not sell, offer for sale, or give to consumers a plastic newspaper wrapper, any part of which becomes detached when the newspaper is removed.

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