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November 3, 2010

News 10 WHEC

Recycling advocates say expanded bottle bill is a success

It has been a year since New York State started collecting a nickel on water bottles and some environmental advocates are calling the expanded law a success. The state has collected $120-million in unclaimed deposits.

New York State started collecting a nickel on water bottles October 31 2009 but what started out as an effort to save energy, preserve the environment and reduce litter has turned into a big money maker for New York State.

You may ask the question, is it really a success? News 10NBC asked some local residents what they think.

New York State wants you to return your bottles but not everybody is doing it. People like Errol Kelly don't want the hassle of recycling. He tosses them in the recycling bin at his apartment. “I really don't mind paying and I don't recycle. If there's someone there who wants to take them out and bring em back, that's fine.”

New York is filling its coffers thanks to people like Kelly. In the months since the state has collected a nickel deposit on water bottles, it has made a whopping $120 million dollars.

Mary Lou Bircher says any recycling is great. If people don't want to do it, she's happy the state is making money.

Sue Spall agrees. She got back more than $19 dollars for her bottles. “If people are too lazy to take their bottles back, more power for the government to collect that money.”

“We brought it on ourselves. If we didn't have it the countryside would be solid plastic.” This Rochester resident thinks the state's deposit law could go even further. “We need to recycle more plastics. We need recycle the 4s and the 6s, the containers that have yogurt, juices, cottage cheese containers. This is poisoning our landfills.”

Not something Julie Capolino wants to hear. She doesn't recycle. “I think it's ridiculous. Like our taxes aren't high enough and we're not paying enough to New York State. It's craziness.”

The change in the law did not come without some expense. For example retailers like Wegmans had to update and add new machines in some of its stores. Spokesperson Jo Natale says there is also a cost associated with maintaining the machines.


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