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Poll shows New Yorkers favor boosting recycling deposit to 10 cents

A new poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute on behalf of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) found that nearly three-quarters of New York residents support expanding the state’s recycling program to include more types of beverage containers and increasing the per-container deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents.

Advocates are urging Governor Kathy Hochul to include the Bigger Better Bottle Bill and New York Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act in her executive budget, arguing that these measures have the potential to reduce landfill waste, roadside litter, and increase the bottle-redemption rate from its current 64 percent to 90 percent.

The poll found that 71 percent of respondents favor expanding the recycling program to include bottles and cans for beverages including teas, sports drinks, juices, wine and liquor. Currently, deposits are collected only on beer and soda. A smaller majority, 51 percent, said they support increasing the per-container deposit from a nickel to a dime.

The poll also found that 23 percent of respondents oppose expansion of bottle recycling to more types of beverages and 44 percent are against increasing the deposit to 10 cents. New York’s bottle-recycling program requires retailers that sell beverages with deposits to accept those containers for recycling and refund deposits, with beverage distributors paying a fee to cover the cost of collecting empties. The state keeps 80 percent of unredeemed deposits to fund public projects.