QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Bottle return redemption sites throughout New York are struggling to stay afloat. NEWS10 has the latest on how the proposed “Bigger, Better Bottle Bill” could save the industry.
Jade Eddy, owner of MT Returnables in Queensbury, has been in the recycling business for nearly 20 years. She says it’s tougher than ever, now, to keep her business open.
“I might end up closing by the end of winter if we don’t get an increase. Places across New York are closing already,” said Eddy.
New York has not seen a deposit increase in more than a decade when the state incorporated water bottles to list of recyclables. Recyclers went from earning two cents a bottle up to three and a half cents on the return.
“Which was a significant amount in 2008, but in 2023 with these expenses it’s not cutting it,” said Eddy.
Eddy says the industry is suffering.
“Businesses like mine all across New York are closing like crazy right now because the way that we get paid is through State legislation and they have not given us a raise at 15 years,” said Eddy.
Jans Cans in Fort Edward is no longer as of last month. Jan Skelly, and her business partner Ralph, say they could not keep up with the cost of inflation along with the cost of doing business.
“I have now closed my doors. Taking my business apart. And I’m taking four jobs away from the community. I’ve had people leave my business in tears not knowing what to do with their bottles and cans anymore,” said Skelly.
Both women say they have been reaching out to their local legislators for help, but say they feel that it falls onto deaf ears.
Meanwhile, not all are on board with the new “Bigger, Better Bottle Bill.” Officials with the Business Council of New York State say this is just another way for the state to generate revenues. They also say the state is not utilizing the current programs to the best of their ability.
New York legislators are expected to vote on the issue in June when the deposit rate could go from five cents a bottle up to 10 cents.