December 16, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Bottle bill would bring in revenue
The governor's call to pass the Bigger Better Bottle Bill has come at a perfect time. The state budget is in trouble, and funding cuts hurt everyone. It's important that our legislators find ways to minimize cuts, while avoiding reaching into New Yorkers' pockets to solve the problem. Bottle bills in other states, such as Massachusetts, Maine and Hawaii, require unclaimed deposits be transferred to the state.
By recovering the unclaimed nickels from our state's beverage container deposit system, the Bigger Better Bottle Bill would generate millions of dollars in sorely needed revenue for the state. An independent study done by the Container Recycling Institute estimates that in 2005-2006 beverage companies kept more than $144 million in unclaimed deposits. This money should be going toward environmental programs, not in beverage companies' pockets.
The beverage companies have already kept billions of our dollars; our Legislature shouldn't let them keep a nickel more. It's time to pass the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. It would be indefensible for state lawmakers to cut funding for education, health care, environmental protection and other critically-needed programs, while letting the beverage companies continue to pocket the public's abandoned nickels.