So opponents of Initiative 28 claim that supporters of the bottle bill are deceiving the voting public {Metro, Aug. 5}. This is a bizarre claim to be made by a group of bottlers and canners who have chosen to hide behind the name Clean Capital City Committee.

The committee's bad faith with the public goes beyond its name. For instance, the committee's spokesman suggests that recycling is preferable to the bottle bill. But where has this committee been over the years as recycling campaigns have struggled in this city? How much has this committee spent through the years to promote recycling? Certainly not the $743,000 it is devoting to defeating the bottle bill.

In its propaganda the committee also drags in visions of vermin attracted to piles of empty bottles and cans returned to the stores they came from. Why would piles of bottles and cans at stores create more of a sanitation problem than similar piles at recycling centers or, as is more often the case now, on our streets and in our parks? The fact is they wouldn't. And with a little care, there need be no sanitation problem at bottle and can collection centers.

Apparently, the bottlers and canners will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Pity they haven't decided to put all that money to better use. MICHAEL WEBER Washington