ALBANY,N.Y. (NEWS10)–On Monday, a joint legislative hearing was held on the New York Bottle Bill.
During the hearing, Jade Eddy, owner of MT Returnables pleaded with lawmakers to act quickly by increasing the 3.5 cent handling fee. She said an increase will help businesses keep their doors open.
“We are crucial to the system, and without us, this system fails,” said Eddy.
Currently, that handling fee is included in the bigger, better bottle bill— a bill that would also raise bottle depots from five cents to ten cents and expand the types of bottles you could get a deposit for.
“What we need now is a lot more beverages, including glass, liquor, and wine bottles that are a real problem for recyclers,” said Senator Rachel May, who sponsors the bill.
Advocates say this bill will help the environment. However, not everyone is totally on board with the legislation.
“The smaller liquor stores, for example, are concerned because they would have to take bottles back and many of them have very little space,” explained May. “So we have a companion bill to support more reverse vending machines and we have changed the wording, so that very small operations can team up with grocery stores and have most of the recovery be done elsewhere”
Despite the efforts of advocates, the bill didn’t get passed during this legislative session.
Eddy is now calling for the handling fee increase to be separated from the bottle bill, and for a special session to be held.
“Support your small redemption centers if you have one in your area,” shared Eddy. “If we can try to make up for time and volume you might be able to get us January if they’re going to make us wait.”
The legislative session begins on January 3rd.