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While it is true that “one person can make a difference,” Getting support from local governments is key. A printable/editable version is available in Word format.
WHEREAS, July 2003 marks the 20th anniversary of New York State's Returnable Container Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Bottle Bill"); and,
WHEREAS, This law requires a minimum 5-cent refundable deposit on carbonated soft drinks, beer, malt beverages, sparkling water, and wine coolers, thereby creating an economic incentive for the collection and return of these beverage containers; and,
WHEREAS, This law has resulted in an average return rate of 75% over the past twenty years, totaling over 75 billion bottles and cans, virtually all of which have been recycled; and,
WHEREAS, This law has diverted more than 5.2 million tons from the waste stream, saving municipalities money in solid waste collection and disposal costs; and,
WHEREAS, This law has reduced litter by 30%, which has resulted in safer and more attractive streets, parks, playgrounds, beaches, and roadsides and has prevented injuries and property damage from broken glass; and,
WHEREAS, Since the law was enacted, non-carbonated beverages such as bottled water, tea, juice and sports drinks have become more popular, and now make up more than 20% of the beverage market in New York; and,
WHEREAS, Separate litter surveys conducted by the American Littoral Society and Scenic Hudson in 2002 show that non-carbonated beverages make up nearly two thirds of the beverage container litter in New York; and,
WHEREAS, Expanding the Bottle Bill to include these containers would divert an additional 2.5 billion bottles and cans each year from the waste stream, reducing litter and easing the burden on municipal solid waste programs; and,
WHEREAS, The current law does not provide for the disposition of any unclaimed deposits, and the beverage industry has retained over $1.2 billion in unclaimed deposits since 1983; and,
WHEREAS, Senate bill S.1696 and Assembly bill A.3922 would expand the Bottle Bill to include bottled water, tea, juice and sports drinks, and would require that unredeemed deposits be submitted to the State Environmental Protection Fund to support municipal recycling and waste prevention programs and other critical environmental needs; and,
WHEREAS, The Container Recycling Institute estimates that this legislation could generate more than $172 million a year in new revenue; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the [ ] does hereby urge state lawmakers to enact S.1696/A.3922, which would expand and update the Bottle Bill to increase recycling, curb litter, reduce costs for municipalities, and provide a steady stream of funding for recycling, waste prevention, and other environmental programs; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the [ } is hereby directed to forward copies of this resolution to Governor George E. Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, [state assemblymembers and senators who represent your district], and the New York Public Interest Research Group.