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June 15, 2007

News 10 Now

Students push for changes to state bottle bill
By: Cait McVey

"Dear Senator DeFransisco, I feel that with the changing environment, we need to update the bottle bill," Fowler High School student Reva Culpher said.

The New York State Bottle Bill was enacted in 1982 to encourage recycling. The law enforced a minimum 5-cent deposit on carbonated beverage bottles and cans. But, while recycling at the high school, the students found that their peers drank more non-carbonated beverages not covered by the bill.

"Our school is going through a recycling period, and we did a project to see how many bottles were there. And out of 59 bottles we collected, only three had a deposit on them," Culpher said.

Right now, you can get a refund for most carbonated beverage bottles, but non-carbonated beverage bottles aren't accepted. The students say if they were, people would recycle more.

Senator John DeFrancisco
Senator John DeFrancisco

"If the bottles aren't really worth anything, people aren't going to bother to recycle them," Fowler High School student Thao Nguyen said.

"We need to have a cleaner city, and putting a deposit might make people feel more liable to recycle bottles," Culpher added.

So, how did Senator John DeFransisco weigh in? He says he's on the fence about the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, but hearing what the students had to say may have influenced him.

"This was very important, and quite frankly, it does make you lean in the direction that they're arguing for," Senator DeFrancisco said.

DeFransisco says he will push to bring the bill to the Senate floor next week.

Friday also happens to be the 25th anniversary of the current New York State Bottle Bill.

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