A majority of Fairfax County residents -- 61 percent -- favors beverage container laws, according to a coalition that is fighting efforts to repeal a 2 1/2-year-old county ordinance intended to reduce litter.
The group last month conducted a survey among 326 residents, and also found that 7 1/2 percent of the respondents have starting shopping outside the county since the ordinance was adopted. None of the neighboring jurisdictions has a beverage container ordinance, but Fairfax requires a 5-cent, refundable deposite on most soft drink containers.
The bottling industry and others who seek repeal of the ordinance, citing a survey of their own, have claimed the ordinance has driven shoppers to other areas.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed repeal at 8 p.m. Monday in the board room of the Massey Building, 4100 Chain Bridge Road.
Mary Treadwell, president of the League of Women Voters, which helped sponsor the most recent survey, called on the supervisors "to say to other jurisdictions and to the bottle industry that returnables can work and that citizens support container laws."
The coalition, which claims to represent 40,000 county residents, also includes the county Federation of Citizens Association, National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Advisory Council, a group of citizens appointed by the supervisors.
Pat Franklin, cochairman of the coalition, said the survey did not confirm the cocntainer-law opponents' claims that deposits make beverages more costly. "We found the contrary," she said. "On the average, beverages in refillable containers were 33 percent cheaper in Fairfax County than in other jurisdictions in the metropolitan area."