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


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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