June 12, 2008
Bottle bill gains Dutchess, Ulster support
POUGHKEEPSIE/KINGSTON - County legislators in Dutchess and Ulster approved resolutions urging the New York State Legislature to pass the Bigger Better Bottle Bill that would add bottles that weren’t popular when the original law was created in 1982 to the list of eligible deposits.
If passed in Albany, the bill would add numerous water and other non-carbonated drink bottles that currently account for nearly 25 percent of bottles on the market today. Those bottles would also carry the standard five-cent deposit amount.
In Ulster, the memorializing resolution passed with little discussion. Seven Republicans opposed the measure.
In Dutchess, Republican County Legislator Angela Flesland admitted she wasn’t in favor of the bill last year, but had a change of heart once she witnessed its need firsthand.
“I wasn’t going to support this until I did an Earth Day cleanup back in April, and a large majority of the bags of things we were picking up were water bottles. Personally I recycle, but a lot of people don’t. So I had a change of heart.”
Environment Committee Chairman Joel Tyner sponsored the bill. “There’s a lot of lemonade cans and bottles, ice tea and water containers that are just not getting recycled here in Dutchess County and across the state.”
The Bigger Better Bottle Bill didn’t pass without some resistance from fellow Republicans Robert Sears and Suzanne Horn. Sears warned that this is “just another tax on residents,” while Horn argued that the recycling efforts in the county are good enough already.
“I think those who continue to recycle and pay the nickel deposit will just be paying more nickels on more bottles.”