Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell), a member of the Environmental Conservation Committee, is sponsoring the "Bigger, Better Bottle Bill" (A.2517/S.1290). "New York State’s Bottle Bill is our most successful recycling initiative," Lupardo said. "It shouldn’t be repealed – it should be updated to keep up with our times."
The bill will expand the current law to include additional containers, such as bottled water, juice, iced-tea and sports drinks. The bill will also increase the handling fee paid to retailers and redemption centers from 2 cents to 3.5 cents.
In addition, distributors will be required to return all unclaimed deposit money – an estimated $179 million – to New York State. The money will be deposited into the Environmental Protection Fund, proportionally to the amount that comes in from each region. The funds will then be used for regional recycling programs and environmental needs.
"This bill will help to protect our environment by increasing recycling rates and reducing litter," Lupardo said. "It will also help our local governments and taxpayers by increasing funding for recycling programs and reducing the costs of recycling and waste disposal."
Currently, the bill has been making its way through the Assembly and is now in the Ways and Means Committee. In the Senate, the bill is in the Environmental Conservation Committee.