It may soon become much harder to get back your deposit on bottles and cans in New York State.

The idea behind the bottle deposit law is a pretty good one. The state, in an effort to encourage recycling, holds back five cents on each bottle and can. Those who return those bottles and cans to be recycled get back their money, an incentive that can surely add up.

In practice, however, the law actually winds up punishing a large number of faithful recyclers.

For many people, the idea of collecting used bottles, storing them and hauling them to the store just isn't worth the effort. Five dollars isn't much of a reward for all of the work that goes into returning 100 glass bottles. What makes matters worse is that most Hudson Valley homeowners have to pay a private company to haul away their recycling, so if they want to do the responsible thing with their bottles and cans they're paying a deposit that they'll never get back and then paying again to have them recycled properly.


This is why the recycling redemption center is such a great service. These businesses help New Yorkers by streamlining the bottle and can return process. By offering a dedicated place that makes it quick and easy to drop off those recyclables and receive your deposit, recycling centers are a vital service that not only helps consumers but also increases the number of bottles and cans that are actually returned.

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Unfortunately, a large number of redemption centers across New York have recently shut down or are in the process of closing their doors. If something isn't done, many business owners say that they will have no choice but to stop collecting recyclables.

Why are so many New York redemption centers closing?

According to the owners of these recycling centers, the money received by the state isn't paying their bills. Currently, the state pays recycling centers eight-and-a-half cents for every return. Five cents goes to the customer and the center gets to keep just three and a half cents. That's hardly enough profit for many of these businesses to remain profitable.

According to News 10, the state keeps 80% of the money made from customers not returning their bottles and cans. Redemption centers say that they provide an important service and deserve a bigger piece of the pie.


The solution may hurt consumers even more

The state is currently considering legislation that would increase bottle and can deposits from five cents to ten cents. Lawmakers say that this will allow them to nearly double the handling fee paid to recycling centers. Unfortunately, it will also double the deposit customers pay. A case of beer would raise from just over a dollar in fees to $2.40.

Proponents of the plan argue that the added fees would not only allow redemption centers to earn more but also encourage those who don't already return their bottles and cans to put in the effort. Unfortunately, many homeowners will now be faced with the decision of whether to throw even more of their money away or now go through the hassle of putting aside those bottles and cans and making a trip to the recycling center even though they already pay for recycling pickup.

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