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Bottled up

"People will recycle when there is a deposit on the bottle," said Sweeney.

"We know it has worked, even though there was opposition to it years ago," said Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, who represents parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.

Canestrari said he agrees with Sweeney that the positives of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill outweigh the negatives, such as an increased price in bottled beverages.

"If there is a financial incentive, more people will recycle," he said. "We must do all that is reasonable to reduce the waste stream and the number of bottles out of landfills."

Assemblymen Roy McDonald said he voted for an earlier version of the bill with the hope that a small exemption clause that was directed to small stores in New York City would be applied to small stores throughout the state in a future version of the bill. The clause states, "In a city with a population greater than one million, a dealer may limit the number of empty beverage containers to be accepted for redemption at the dealer's place of business to no less than 72 containers per visit, per redeemer, per day [] the primary business is the sale of food or beverages for consumption off-premises, and the dealer's place of business is less than 10,000 square feet in size."

The exemption deals with the small corner grocers of New York City, according to McDonald, who added that 75 percent of New Yorkers live below the city of Poughkeepsie, or "Downstate."

Because the clause was not eventually changed to include the rest of the state, McDonald voted against the bill, June 11.

"I will not vote for a bill that gives New York City priority," said McDonald, " I will not tolerate this idea that New York City is different from New York state."

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