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January 27, 2009

The Post-Standard
Letters to the Editor

A Better Bottle Bill

Legislation would be a major step in protecting environment

To the Editor:

Last week, News 10 Now ran a story on the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, an extension of the 1982 Bottle Bill. The latter, New York state's most successful piece of recycling legislation, has saved more than 6 million tons of glass, metal and plastic from landfills. Improvements addressed in the Bigger Better Bottle Bill would magnify New York's commitment to our environment and our community.

The new bill would put a refundable 5-cent deposit on non-carbonated beverages, which comprise a third of the beverage market and a disproportionate amount of litter. The bill would also require beverage companies to give unclaimed nickels (from soda bottles that are thrown away or littered) back to the state, generating $200 million a year for environmental protection and community improvement.

If Syracuse and Central New York are serious about being "green," we must support the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. The bill has already passed the state Assembly, so all that remains is for you to write to your senators. Tell them you want to increase recycling, boost the state economy and start building the sustainable community we know Central New York can be.

Caroline Savage

Bill would help conserve resources, including petroleum

To the Editor:

Expanding the bottle bill expands recycling; it conserves natural resources, including petroleum. If a crisis is needed to take action, then let us act now. Oil prices have slumped in past weeks, but no doubt they will surge again.

Last year at the state fair, people flocked to the OCRRA booth to sign a petition asking our elected officials in Albany to expand the bottle bill. More than 5,000 people signed the petition; each of them knows that every little bit of recycling helps a lot. They also know converting old bottles and cans into any new material reduces greenhouse gases, conserves resources and creates jobs.

One of OCRRA's main 2009 goals is to institute a recycling pledge and total recycling commitment in every Onondaga County school. Each school we've visited notes the deposit on soda bottles means more recycling and more successful school fundraisers. These same schools participate in OCRRA's Earth Day Litter Clean-Up, one of the largest in the nation, collecting beverage containers carelessly littered along the roadside, in parks and even in streams. Our schoolchildren are working hard at recycling and reducing litter. Shouldn't we return the favor and make it easier for them by supporting expansion of the bottle bill?

Please contact your Assembly member and senator and urge them to expand the bottle bill; it is a ripe opportunity to make the world a better place for our children.

Contact info for local legislators and an online petition can be found at www.OCRRA.org

Tom Rhoads
Executive director
Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency


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