March 31, 2009
Deposits on water bottles
ANLIUS, N.Y. -- The signs inside the store are no joke. They read, “We Are On The Verge of Closing.”
Keith Alexander, owner of FM Returnables, laid off three workers, scaled back pay and scaled back costs just to keep his doors open. But all of that could soon change. When water bottles and other non-deposit bottles become redeemable.
"It will increase our volume, plus it will increase the handling fee, so our income is going to increase by about 75 percent," said Alexander.
The handling fee right now is two cents per container. That two cents goes to Alexander and his workers. Now that jumps to three and a half cents.
It's no secret in Manlius that Alexander has been advocating for the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill to pass. And while he's ecstatic about the news, he says he'll hold his breath until pen meets paper.
"Until it's actually signed by the Governor, it still could just go away. It's not done until it's signed," Alexander said.
Alexander says he's got plenty of room for these water bottles and anticipates the volume to increase by 30 percent.
"Water outsells beer. Sixty-five percent of roadside litter are water bottles. So this is going to help taxpayers. Instead of someone collecting cans and stepping over a water bottle and then paying $20 an hour for municipal workers to come back through and pick them up."
Manlius resident Elizabeth Gallup said, "I think it's a great idea. I think you'll find less on the road."
Added LaFayette resident Martha Trout, "It's for, you know, the green thing, where you really do need to keep this stuff out of landfills."
Unless the Governor finds a reason to not pass the measure, the bill will take effect June 1st.