Environmentalists push Hochul to help 'canneries' with 5-cent increase in bottle deposits

Environmentalists push Hochul to help ‘canneries’ with 5-cent increase in bottle deposits

New York’s so-called ‘canneries’ could be in for a good time as environmentalists pressure Governor Kathy Hochul to include in the next state budget a proposal to double down payments by New Yorkers. -Yorkers who buy drinks for 5 to 10 cents.

“Including [this idea] will strengthen the state’s efforts to reduce waste, improve recycling, create jobs, improve canneries in disadvantaged communities, increase equity and facilitate consumer participation,” hundreds of environmental groups argued in a November 21 letter to Hochul.

Supporters also want Hochul to make containers of wine and liquor refundable for a penny alongside containers of soft drinks, water and beer covered by current state law approved in 1983.

And the letter claims that by increasing the value of billions of beverage containers through current legislation, Hochul would fuel a “bonus” for New Yorkers who make a living by recycling while helping Mother Earth in the long run.

“For decades, canneries, many of which are among New York’s most marginalized, have piloted the most efficient recycling system in the state because their pay lags sorely behind the cost of living. It’s time they get the raise they deserve,” Sure We Can executive director Ryan Castalia said Monday.

Supporters want to make wine and liquor containers redeemable for a penny.
Luis E Velez
Beer bottles.
Soft drinks, water and beer containers are covered for deposits by current state law approved in 1983.
Luis E Velez

“We have to work harder and recycle double to buy the same things. That’s why we’re asking to increase the deposit because we need it,” added Jose Marin, a full-time canner and group board member.

A range of environmental, academic, religious and local groups signed the letter, such as the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, the Pratt Institute Department of Math and Science, Riverside Church and Park Slope Neighbors.

The Hochul administration has not committed to including the proposal in the state budget it will table in mid-January before an April 1 deadline for an agreement with state lawmakers.

“Governor Hochul is committed to protecting our environment and addressing climate change, and will consider all budget requests,” the spokeswoman told the Post on Monday.

But bottle boosters are optimistic. Hochul will support their cause given its past support of recycling initiatives, such as an unsuccessful effort earlier this year to make packaging manufacturers responsible for the waste produced by their products.

“We would like to include it in the budget, but if not, I think we will have a lot of support in the Legislature to pass it,” said State Senator Rachel May (D -Syracuse), who is currently sponsoring legislation on the issue alongside Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Suffolk).

Kathy Hochul.
Supporters are optimistic. Governor Kathy Hochul will support their cause given her past support of recycling initiatives.
Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

“The fact that she’s approachable and interested in working collaboratively with the Legislative Assembly will help,” May added of the newly elected Democratic governor she supported on the campaign trail.

Supporters note that other states like Connecticut, Maine, California and Oregon have already taken steps to increase 5-cent bottle deposits while expanding the types of containers New Yorkers deposit. at the cash register.

“New York’s Bottle Bill was one of the most sensible and effective environmental policies in New York’s history. But for it to continue to be effective in preventing waste and reducing our solid waste burden, we need to ensure it is more up-to-date with expanded categories of returns and increased deposits,” Kate Kurera, Assistant Manager of Environmental Advocates NY, said Monday.

“We hope the Governor and Legislature will make this a priority in the coming year. Now is the time to act,” Kurera added.

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