Bill Memo: Saving Bottle Redemption Centers


This legislation amends the environmental conservation law to increase the handling fee for beverage container redemption centers from 3.5 to 5 cents and provides financial assistance to redemption centers. This would prevent the further closure of redemption centers and allow for greater adoption of recycling practices statewide.


This legislation amends the environmental conservation law to increase the handling fee given to beverage container redemption centers to 5 cents per container and provide financial assistance grants to redemption centers to improve infrastructure and the collection process.

New York State’s Returnable Container Act (Bottle Bill) was expanded in 2009 to include water bottles and has effectively increased recycling rates by providing improving access and financial returns for returning bottles and cans. However, this program has not received funding and has not reached its goal of increasing the number of redemption centers and vending machines across the state, and lead to the closure of many facilities that can no longer pay their workers. This means jobs are being lost, and fewer bottles and cans are being diverted from our neighborhoods, beaches, and the ocean.

Plastics never break down, they only become smaller over time until they eventually become microplastics. Microplastics have been found in our food and water supplies and medical professionals predict that they may be linked to numerous health problems. Without robust recycling programs, microplastics will continue to be present in our food and water supply.

This legislation would prevent the further closure of and revitalize bottle redemption centers across the state, which is especially important amidst further possible expansions to the Bottle Bill. By protecting these redemption centers, we keep bottles and cans out of the environment and protect jobs and public health.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 28