Tompkins County Legislature Urges Expansion of State Bottle Bill

The Tompkins County Legislature passed a resolution urging the New York State Legislature to increase recycling and reduce municipal waste management costs by expanding New York’s Returnable Container Act (also known as the Bottle Bill) to include wine, liquor, and other glass beverage containers.

Director of Recycling and Materials Management Barbara Eckstrom noted the existing Bottle Bill has proven to be the most effective way to recover and recycle various glass beverage containers, including beer and soda bottles. Glass beverage containers with a deposit have an economically viable market because they are source-separated and clean.  As part of single-stream curbside collection programs, these glass bottles have no economically viable recycling markets, Eckstrom added, because they break and contaminate paper and other materials at recycling facilities, resulting in diminished paper revenues and increased garbage.  The resolution also notes  several other states recognize the environmental and economic benefits of including wine, spirit and other glass beverage containers in their respective Bottle Bill systems.