The Bottle Bill Battle Begins Anew

ALBANY—The quick fix promised for the state's expanded bottle deposit law has turned into a reprise of the fight over the measure, which passed as part of this year's state budget.

Senate Finance Committee chair Carl Kruger is advancing this bill, which, on its surface, just moves back the date on which bottlers and stores will have to comply. But it also contains a clause that would basically allow any "candy manufacturers, confectioneries, fish markets, fruit and vegetable markets, grocery stores,  convenience  stores,  meat markets, nut stores, dressed poultry markets, retail bakeries, bakery outlets, or any similar establishments" from having to accept bottles.

Environmental advocates say doing that would kind of take the teeth out of the bill. They prefer a bare-bones measure sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney that just moves back the effective date.

Laura Haight, an advocate with NYPIRG, also said the governor's office is drafting a program bill. This measure may include reducing the handling fees for large supermarkets; this will hurt the supermarkets but will mean bottlers will have to pay less.

As of now, the program bill is not out. Neither Sweeney's bill nor Kruger's bill has been moved out of committee.

The Bottle Bill Battle Begins Anew