March 22, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Clean up state, expand coffers with bottle bill
In regard to the March 5 article "Students support revised bottle bill" by Julie Varughese: Even in this difficult budget year, legislators and the governor have an opportunity to act together to create a new funding source for programs that keep New York's land, air and water clean and healthy.
Expanding the state's bottle bill to include water and other noncarbonated beverages as part of the budget will clean up our beaches, river banks and community parks.
Statistics show that recycling rates could quadruple on containers if a deposit is added. Additionally, the proposal would allow the state to capture unclaimed nickel deposits, benefiting all New Yorkers through an expanded Environmental Protection Fund.
The EPF supports the protection of open space, farmland, water quality, municipal parks and recycling, and critical programs furthering public health and educational efforts throughout our state. As lawmakers struggle this year to find revenue for critical programs, they should not pass up an opportunity like the bottle bill.
Director State Government Relations
The Nature Conservancy of New York