Consumer Retorts: Transportation Security Administration

If you’re going to take my water bottle, can you freakin’ recycle it?

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CONSUMER RETORTS

Consumer Retorts

TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

THE FEDERAL ban on carry-on liquids may help stop terrorists, but it’s not doing much for the planet. A now-ubiquitous feature of airport security lines around the country is a row of garbage cans overflowing with glass and plastic bottles. In some cities, individual airports handle the contraband; in others, TSA hires contractors to remove it. So does the TSA recycle any of it? Nope. Spokesman Nico Melendez says he’s never thought of recycling the bottles. “Why can’t they go to landfills?” he wonders. And frankly, he says, the problem isn’t TSA’s to solve—it’s up to passengers to know the rules and to pack accordingly. By the end of our conversation, Melendez is more circumspect. “We’re not averse to doing something environmentally friendly with the stuff,” he concludes. “Someone just needs to have a solution.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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