ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — You could see some changes when purchasing your favorite beverages. Advocates are looking to expand New York’s Bottle Bill, which they say would help the environment. Right now, bottle deposit fees are five cents per bottle in New York State. Under the proposal, that deposit would increase to ten cents and include all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.
Ryan Thoresen Carson, Campaign Coordinator for NYPRIGs environmental campaign said in 2021 the bottle deposit return rate was at 71%, “But if you look at states, like Michigan, Oregon, states they have a 10 cent deposit. They are consistently in the high 80s, low 90s for bottle return rate.” But Ken Pokalsky, VP of Government Affairs for the Business Council of NYS said this is just another way for the state to generate revenues. He also said the state isn’t utilizing current programs to the best of their ability, “So then, we, you know people sit back and say we wonder why these programs aren’t working well, well, we’ve sort of abandoned them, and instead of making the ones we have work better or work the way they were intended to, we’re off writing a .. different piece of legislation.”
But Carson said some of those systems are broken, “Part of the problem with curbside recycling is that when it actually goes in to the bail – I think it’s 94% of New York waste systems are single stream devices, single stream devices put everything in the same stream…and so when glass breaks for example it renders everything around it unrecyclable.” Carson said the main goal is to move glass out of municipal recycling systems.