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NY lawmakers are reassessing bottle bill amid redemption center crisis

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  • Staff Report 

As New York’s bottle and can redemption centers voice concerns over impending closures due to rising operational costs and outdated legislation, state lawmakers are stepping in.

A joint legislative hearing took place in Albany on Monday, where discussions centered around revisions to the state’s container deposit laws.

The proposed updates include doubling the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents and expanding the recycling scope to accommodate more beverage containers, such as those for wine, liquor, and juice.

The bottle bill, unchanged since 2009, has faced criticism for not adapting to the times. Redemption center operators point to the financial strain of operating, noting the inability of centers to modify their pricing in response to market conditions.

With redemption centers entitled to a mere 3.5 cents of the current 5-cent deposit, the proposed legislation offers a modest increase to 6 cents.

Over the past year, approximately 100 centers shuttered, and others predict a similar fate without immediate intervention. State officials are carefully weighing the potential ramifications of the proposed changes, including concerns about bottle redemption fraud and the capacity challenges faced by smaller beverage outlets.