Monday, March 16, 2009

Can the Bottle Bill

Clearly upset with the possibility of having to handle even more bottles and cans, New York City retailers and the workers they employ, feeling that enough's enough, are going to go over to the governor's office today to present him with a symbolic load of deposit containers to demonstrate that they simply have to more room-or resources-to handle this garbage disposal burden. The group wants the legislature to remove the expanded bottle bill from any budget negotiations at a time when the city is losing grocery stores and supermarkets.

Of course, this doesn't stop the NY Times-with absolutely no sense of irony-or shame-from editorializing once again in favor of the increased burden on local stores; and the just jettisoned job killing fat tax as well: "But it would be a mistake to drop his “fat tax” on soda — liquid candy, as health advocates call it. That alone would cost the state at least $400 million a year. And we can only hope the governor will not back away from some of his other important initiatives, like expanding the bottle redemption system in order to finance the state’s environmental program."

Let us reiterate. The biggest waste removal problem that the city has is newspapers that are discarded instead of being put out at the curb for recycling. Of this we hear nary a peep from the Times-folks who are great at adding costs for others but who are equally adept at eliding their own responsibilities. Which is why we have argued that it is time to tax the newspapers. After all, why should the tax payers pay the freight for the disposal of their waste product.

So, we are headed over to Third Avenue today to underscore the plight of city retailers; and before the Times and others promote bottle bill expansion, they should be sensitive to the disappearance of city food stores-a vital resource for all New Yorkers. This isn't the time to impose expensive burdens on retailers fighting for their business lives.