Rensselaer County Office of the Democratic Minority Supports the Expansion of New York State Bottle Bill

The Office of the Democratic Minority filed a resolution on Tuesday, February 22 supporting NYS Assembly Bill A8668 to expand the current NY Bottle Bill.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Bottle Bill. Signed into law by then–Governor Hugh Carey, it is New York’s most effective recycling and litter reduction program. The original Bottle Bill covered beer and soda containers only and was updated in 2009 to include bottled water among the list of returnable containers.

Assembly Bill A8668 seeks to further expand the list of returnable containers to include some wine and liquor bottles, as well as dairy products, iced teas, and sports drinks.

“We all share a responsibility for keeping our communities clean and healthy and the addition of wine and liquor bottles will help to alleviate the problems that municipal recycling programs are encountering due to glass breakage within the recycling stream,” said Legislator Ken Zalewski. “As we deal with combating overflowing landfills and the costs associated with their use, all communities need to pitch in and not throw recyclables out,” continued Zalewski.

Assembly Bill A8668 seeks to increase the deposit for returnable containers from 5 cents to 10 cents, which will further encourage consumers to return and recycle these containers. Over its 40-year history, New York’s Bottle Bill has had a tremendous and positive impact on the environment, reducing roadside container litter by 70% and removing billions of cans and bottles from the waste stream.

“It has been proven that states with bottle deposit laws have better recycling rates than non-deposit states,” said Legislator Mark Fleming.  According to the Container Recycling Institute, states with bottle deposit laws have a beverage container recycling rate of 60%, while non-deposit states only reach about 24%. “The implementing of this bill will reduce litter, increase recycling rates, reduce carbon emissions, and bring jobs to New York State,” continued Fleming.

“We have proven that recycling works and it has had an impressive impact in working towards the ultimate goal to reduce waste,” said Legislator Carole Weaver.