March 31, 2009

Budget Promotes Environmental Protection By Expanding Bottle Bill

Inclusion Of Water Beverage Containers Will Encourage Recycling, Provide $115 to State

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert K. Sweeney announced today that the SFY 2009-2010 budget expands the state's Returnable Beverage Law to include water beverage containers under one gallon, which will increase recycling and provide a new revenue stream to New York State.

The state will place a five cent deposit on water bottles and mandate that box stores over 40,000 square feet have reverse vending machines on their premises to process returnable containers. In addition, 80 percent of all the unclaimed nickels on beverage containers would be remitted to the state.

"Our environmental protection efforts must remain at the forefront of our priorities, even during this recession." said Silver (D-Manhattan). "An expanded bottle bill will cut down on litter throughout our state and provide a greater incentive for consumers to recycle. The Assembly has fought for improvements to the bottle bill for years. Today, we are pleased that the law has grown to encourage greater recycling and conservation, while preserving landfill space."

"Expanding the bottle bill to include water beverages is a good fiscal and environmental policy," said Farrell (D-Manhattan). "New York will have increased funding to support a variety of important conservation programs and consumers will have greater incentive to recycle plastic bottles."

"Since the bottle bill was enacted nearly 30 years ago, the beverage industry has grown to include water drinks that have proliferated not simply on store shelves, but along the sides of our roads, wetlands, open spaces and beaches," said Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst). "This budget will encourage recycling and help to clean our environment by updating New York's most successful recycling law to better represent today's consumers."