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For Immediate Release: March 21, 2019
Expansion of the 5-cent Bottle Return Law Will Shrink Revenue Streams of Private and Municipal Recycling Haulers
SPENCERPORT, NY – The Business Council of New York State stood with Erik Grimm of Suburban Disposal Corporation to oppose legislation to expand the Bottle Deposit Law in New York State. If passed a mandatory five-cent fee would be added to containers of juices, teas, sports drinks, cold coffee beverages, non-alcoholic ciders, and other new-age beverages. Broadening the law would have a negative impact on a variety of industries who do businesses in New York State including the recycling haulers industry.
“The proposed expansion of this law duplicates curbside collection programs and removes valuable materials from private and municipal recycling companies,” said Darren Suarez, Senior Director of Government Affairs at the Business Council of New York State. “By removing these items recycling companies are eliminating some of the most valuable material contained in curbside recycling bins resulting in increased total costs which ultimately will be passed down to the customers.”
Access to Recycling
New York’s original Bottle Deposit Law was enacted in 1984, during a time in which few people had access to recycling. However, today 94% of the US population has adequate access to recycling. In New York State, residents in all 62 counties have universal access to local recycling services either through private haulers or municipal programs.
To offset the costs of their services both private and public recycling haulers rely on the current non-refundable bottles and cans. For example, certain plastic bottles that would be part of an expanded law currently return $320 per ton, while aluminum cans return $800 per ton.
“Removing these quality desired materials from our pick up means we will have a higher fee to dispose of the less valuable paper and glass resulting in the very real possibility our customers will see an increase in their bill moving forward,” said Erik Grim, President of Suburban Disposal Corporation.
Additional Costs to All Businesses
In addition to recycling haulers, retailers and producers, state-wide, will feel a ripple effect of burden. In order to return the materials covered by an expansion of the bill, those who produce those drinks will be responsible for setting up a means to collect their unique bottles back.
Only 11 states charge a deposit fee on containers all programs were adopted prior to the establishment of robust curbside pickup options. In 2010, Delaware ended the five-cent deposit on containers and replaced it with a temporary four-cent tax to fund the implementation of a curbside collection recycling program. By 2016, the overall recycling in Delaware rose by 10%.
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The Business Council of New York State Inc., is the leading business organization in New York State, representing the interests of approximately 2,300-member businesses statewide.