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June 14th, 2007

The Northender

Final Push for Bigger Better Bottle Bill

June 15th will mark the 25th anniversary of passage of New York State’s Bottle Bill. Some local environmental activists will mark the day by working to get the State Senate to pass an updated version of the bill before it recesses on June 21st.

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill (BBBB) has languished for several years. In its current form, the Bottle Bill only mandates refundable deposits on carbonated drinks. The BBBB would mandate deposits for water, iced tea and sports drink bottles as well. Much of the revenue from the bill would be earmarked for other environmental initiatives.

Opponents to the bill have argued that it was another tax, and that it unfairly burdened beverage distributors with costly, time-consuming and unsanitary work. State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Saratoga Springs) was among those strongly against it.

The BBBB passed the State Assembly two years in a row, though failed to pass the Senate. Governor Eliot Spitzer had named it as a priority, but dropped it from his budget at the eleventh hour as part of negotiations with the Senate to have the budget pass by the April 1st deadline.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) will station volunteers at the Syosset and Northport train stations from 7 AM to 8 AM on Friday, June 14th. The volunteers will be handing out leaflets and urging commuters to contact Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) and Senator John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and press them to support the bill.


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