I was disappointed to see Buffalo News take a half-measure approach to its endorsement of the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill.
The Arc Allegany-Steuben has operated the Wellsville Redemption Center since 2005. I see raising the deposit, and crucially the handling fee on containers, as being essential to staying in business. We employ 16 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at our Wellsville redemption operations. The current redemption handling fee has remained the same since 2009, even though the state minimum wage has increased by 96% over that same time period. Adding containers to the bill without addressing the deposit and the outdated redemption fee structure will likely put us and many other redemption centers out of business. In our case costing critical jobs for people with IDD.
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The Bottle Bill is the best piece of recycling legislation in New York and has been an incredible environmental success story. It’s transformed litter prevention in the state and it’s also transformed lives. Increasing the deposit will increase recycling rates while also saving taxpayer money. Working class people already return their bottles for the deposit, it’s essential that those who can afford to put their bottles on the curb are incentivized to do so.
Wellsville Redemption Center