February 25, 2007
Boosting the Bigger Better Bottle Bill
By: Ken Jubie
"It recognizes the fact that people's consumption habits have changed. When this bill was passed 25 years ago, people were drinking pop. They were drinking carbonated sodas," said DEC Research Scientist Stanley Byer.
According to NYPIRG, less than 20 percent of non-carbonated beverages get recycled, which is a far cry from the recycling rate of their carbonated counterparts.
"80 percent of the beer and soda containers do get returned and recycled," said NYPIRG Environmental Associate Laura Haight.
Supporters of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill said giving that nickel back on beverages like bottled water and sports drinks will also be a benefit to the environment.
"That's not why I paid my nickel," said Averill Park resident Chris Shaw.Advocates said under the new bill, unclaimed deposit dollars would be pumped into the state's Environmental Protection Fund for programs to preserve farm land and improve air and soil quality, among other things.
"Like recycling. Like dump closure. Like environmental remediation sites, et cetera," Byer said.
Rensselaer County community groups, agriculture advocates, and labor unions are now rallying together and petitioning their state senator, Joe Bruno, hoping the Majority Leader will give the nod to the new bottle bill.
Video available on Capital 9 Web site: