Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Some bottle return shops seek NYS hike in handling fee

By Zander Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer

Jade Eddy operates MT Returnables in Queensbury. Photo provided

Owners of some bottle and can redemption centers in New York say they are in dire need of an immediate increase in the handling fee they receive.

“New York Legislators have failed the New York Bottle Bill,” headlined an ad that a Malone returnable bottle business took out in the Feb. 13 Times-Union.

The Chronicle phoned the business that placed the ad.

“My partner Travis [Pritchard] and I started this business back in 2010. So we’re 12 years old into the game,” said Tim Carter, of Tap Bottle Co, LLC in Malone. “And the last raise that the bottle handling business or industry received was in 2009.”

The ad said, “From 2016 till present, the minimum wage has increased 6 times from $9.70 per hour to $13.20, as the State heads to the livable minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

“Labor IS the biggest expense to operate a Redemption Center. But have the centers received a raise In handling fees? NO!”

The ad concluded, “We were just told recently by an assembly staff member that we are getting a 1.5 cent raise, but it will not take effect until December 31, 2022….The redemption centers in NY need a 4 cent raise per container at the minimum, and it needs the raise to start RIGHT NOW!”

The ad also said, “The Legislators think that the centers just count containers, pay the consumer for the units, then TA-DA. We get 3.5 cents on top of the nickel we hand out. When in reality, we have to sort the units by brand, then further separate the type of container…Then we have to separate them further by size of unit…

“Now keep in mind that them [there] are over 42 different brands of water. Then we have to count each separated unite to a certain number count, and bag them before we can send them out for recycling. Sounds like a ton of work right?

“IT IS! I WISH THE STATE LEGISLATORS WORKED HALF AS HARD AS WE DO FOR PENNYS.”

The ad called out Assemblyman Billy Jones and State Senator Dan Stec by name. Sen. Stec did not respond by press-time to our text asking him about it.

Qby. redemption biz says ‘Business is great’ but it’s time to hike handling fee

Chronicle Staff Writer Zander Frost writes: Closer to home, Jade Eddy, owner of MT Returnables at 71 Ohio Avenue in Queensbury, said, “Business is great. It’s probably the busiest winter we’ve ever had.”

“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the company that picks me up, purchased a lot of the other places in the area.

“So the customer service for those places has gone down. And I’m getting a ton of customers, just looking for a place that’s open when they say they’re going to be open or nice,” she said.

Ms. Eddy adds, “Back in 2008, they [the state] added water [bottle deposits], and that accounts for a huge amount of what we take in…

“They increased the handling fee back then from two cents to three and a half cents. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but because of the amount that we process, it really does make a difference. I mean, we process at least like 4-million containers a year. So it adds up.

“But it’s time for something to be done, because unlike any other business, we don’t have the ability to adjust prices to keep up with rising costs…The only way that we can compensate for everything going up is for the state to do something about the law.”

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