NYS Association of Counties urges review of Gov. Cuomo's proposed ‘bottle bill’ expansion
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 5:58 am

Counties across the state are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to make modifications to the proposed expansion of the Returnable Container Act ("Bottle Bill"), which would add a deposit to sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable beverages, and ready-to-drink coffees and teas.

The NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC) is urging the governor and state Legislature to modify the expansion to include only glass containers.

NYSAC claims that while this proposal is well-intentioned, it harms recycling programs that are already being threatened by global recycling market volatility.

In 2017 and 2018, China implemented policy changes that resulted in a 90 percent reduction in the value of paper and a 63 percent loss in value of the traditional recycling stream.

It is claimed that the governor's proposal would place an undue burden on municipal recyclers by removing as much as 50 percent of plastic and aluminum containers from the recycling stream resulting in an additional loss of revenue for local solid waste programs.

"Solid waste entities have put forth a lot of time, effort, and money to carry out state and local recycling initiatives," said Stephen McElwain, president of the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management (NYSASWM). "We oppose the Governor's proposal to take value out of the curbside bin at a time when global market changes have made it difficult for local entities to continue providing these environmentally-beneficial programs."