New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0522-2004    Version: * Name: Amend the Returnable Beverage Container Law "Bottle Deposit Law"
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management
On agenda: 8/12/2004
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the State Legislature to amend the Returnable Beverage Container Law, commonly know as the “Bottle Deposit Law” or “Bottle Bill”, to allow local municipalities to enforce its provisions.
Sponsors: Kendall Stewart, Lewis A. Fidler, Alan J. Gerson, G. Oliver Koppell, Michael C. Nelson, Robert Jackson
Council Member Sponsors: 6

Res. No. 522

 

Resolution calling upon the State Legislature to amend the Returnable Beverage Container Law, commonly know as the “Bottle Deposit Law” or “Bottle Bill”, to allow local municipalities to enforce its provisions.

 

 

By Council Members Stewart, Fidler, Gerson, Koppell, Nelson and Jackson

 

                     Whereas, In July 1983, the New York State Legislature enacted the Returnable Beverage Container Law, commonly know as the “Bottle Deposit Law” or “Bottle Bill”, requiring a minimum 5-cent deposit on many bottles and cans; and

 

                     Whereas, The “Bottle Bill” has been successful in removing litter from the streets and has reduced the amount of solid waste disposed of, while fostering the recycling and reuse of the containers for which it requires a deposit; and

 

                     Whereas, Despite the provision in the “Bottle Bill” requiring retailers that sell deposit containers to accept them for return, many stores do not redeem returned deposit containers; and

 

                     Whereas, Many retail establishments that are not traditional supermarkets, such as gas stations, drug stores, delicatessens and small food stores, sell beverages in deposit containers and provide no means for the return of the items they sell; and

 

                     Whereas, Retail store owners know that they can refuse to accept the deposit return containers without any consequences due to the lack of enforcement of this provision of the “Bottle Bill”; and

 

                     Whereas, One reason there is little or no enforcement of the provisions of the “Bottle Bill” is that only New York State Department of Environmental Conservation enforcement agents are authorized to enforce the provision of the “Bottle Bill” and only a few are assigned to New York City, where they are charged with enforcing all of the state environmental protection laws leaving little or no time to enforce the provisions of the “Bottle Bill”; and

 

                     Whereas, In 2002, the New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer reached an agreement with major drug store chains, including Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid and Genovese, that where not redeeming returned deposit containers. In addition to paying fines, the drugs stores agreed to promote redemption and implement a monitoring program to ensure stores were in compliance; and

 

                     Whereas, Many of the drug store chains and other retailers are still not redeeming deposit containers and no enforcement is taking place; and

 

                     Whereas, If local municipalities had the authority to enforce the provisions of the “Bottle Bill”, retail establishments that did not comply with the provisions of the bill could be effectively penalized, and fined thereby enhancing compliance with the state law; now, therefore, be it

 

                     Resolved, the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to amend the Returnable Beverage Container Law, commonly know as the “Bottle Deposit Law” or “Bottle Bill”, to allow local municipalities to enforce its provisions.

 

LS-1341

CJC-8/2/04