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February 23, 2009

Times Union
Letter to the Editor

Recycling better than bottle bill

Regarding "A Big Push for Bigger Bottle Bill" (Feb. 10), rather than adding additional costs to beverages by expanding the bottle bill, New York should focus on comprehensive recycling that addresses all products in the waste stream.

Strong curbside programs can be of far more value to residents and the environment than any forced deposit program that requires them to lug heavy bags of bottles and cans to a filthy recycling center. That's why the beverage industry has a long-standing commitment to supporting recycling. Further, the American Beverage Association is a founding member of the Climate Group's Recycle Together initiative, which is dedicated to revitalizing recycling programs.

The true value of recycling is in helping the environment. There is a system in place that does not discriminate against any particular packaging as a bottle bill does. Curbside recycling programs are an effective and efficient way to handle all recyclables. Bottle bills are expensive to implement and maintain. They also undermine the good intentions of our citizens, who are learning how simple it is to impact the environment in a positive way.

Craig Stevens

Vice president, American Beverage Association

Washington, D.C.



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