Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) announced the Assembly passed legislation she 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.
"New York’s bottle bill has been promoting recycling and reducing litter since 1982," Lifton said. "Unfortunately, beverages popularized since then – like sports drinks and water – have not been included in the program and landfills and our public spaces are suffering. This new bill offers the financial incentive that has been so successful with carbonated drinks."
Lifton 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 local projects across the state.
"This will put millions into the Environmental Protection Fund without raising taxes simply by promoting a clean environment," Lifton said. "I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the governor to pass this common-sense legislation and do their part to keep New York clean."
A Senate version of the bill (S.1290-B) awaits Senate action.