Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bigger, Better Bottle Bill On Hold

No Nickel Deposit For Water Bottles As Fed Court Says Wait Until 2010

Its score one for bottlers and wholesalers, a strike for the environment, and a $115 million dollar hit to the already strapped NYS budget.

Seems that special interests still trump the people's interests. Anybody surprised?
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From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

Bottle bill delayed for a year
By Joseph SpectorJournal Albany bureau

ALBANY _ New York will have to wait until April 2010 to start collecting a nickel deposit on bottles of water, a hit of $115 million to the state’s coffers and a blow to a program touted by environmentalists.

As part of U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa’s ruling last week, he ordered the state to refrain from imposing any aspect of the so-called Bigger, Better Bottle Bill because of protests by bottlers and wholesalers.

Groups said that means that every aspect of the new law, from the new revenue the state planned to collect to increased handling fees for stores and redemption centers, will be delayed.

Environmental groups blasted the judge’s decision, saying it goes far beyond what bottlers demanded and even further than Griesa’s initial ruling from the bench last week that the new bottle collections be put on hold temporarily. The ruling does not impact the current policy of collecting five-cent deposits on soda and beer bottles.

“More than two billion water bottles will end up in the waste stream rather than recycled,” environmental groups in New York said in a statement. “And many small redemption centers who were counting on the increased handling fee will be forced to shut down and lay off workers.”

In particular, bottlers were protesting a requirement to put New York-specific bar codes on all bottles and cans.

Lawmakers and Gov. David Paterson passed the bottle bill as part of the state budget in April to expand a 5-cent deposit from just beer and soda containers to bottles of water. It was scheduled to go into effect June 1.

After bottlers raised concerns, lawmakers and Paterson sought to enact amendments to the law, but a compromise could not be reached before the judge’s decision.

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