Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) announced the Assembly passed legislation he co-sponsored to expand New York’s beverage container deposit and recycling programs (A.2517-B).
The bill would expand the current bottle bill to include a 5 cent deposit on non-carbonated beverages such as sports drinks and bottled water. It would also turn over unclaimed deposits, which are currently kept by distributors and bottlers, to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
“The 1982 bottle bill has proven to be successful in reinforcing the idea of recycling and reducing litter,” Hevesi said. “However, because of an increase in the popularity of bottled water, iced tea and sports drinks along with traditional carbonated beverages, litter has unfortunately increased. This new law provides financial incentives to recycle.”
Hevesi noted the Department of Environmental Conservation estimates at least $85 million in deposits go unclaimed each year. The Container Recycling Institute estimates that unclaimed deposits in New York State actually total $137 million and that under an expanded bottle bill there would be $179 million in unclaimed deposits. These monies would be deposited in the Environmental Protection Fund for projects across the state.
“Not only will this bill reduce waste directly, but it will put millions into the Environmental Protection Fund without raising taxes,” Hevesi said. “This bill offers a common-sense solution to litter and environmental protection, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the governor to pitch in and pass this bill to keep New York clean and litter-free.”
A Senate version of the bill (S.1290-B) awaits Senate action.