senate Bill S2877

Signed by Governor Amended

Relates to the number of reverse vending machines required for mandatory acceptance of empty beverage containers

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 02 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 08 / Mar / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 24 / Mar / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 24 / Mar / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 2877A
  • 05 / Apr / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.309
  • 06 / Apr / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 11 / Apr / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 16 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A5270A
  • 16 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.328
  • 16 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 16 / Jun / 2011
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 05 / Aug / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 17 / Aug / 2011
    • SIGNED CHAP.459

Summary

Relates to the number of reverse vending machines required for mandatory acceptance of empty beverage containers.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5270
Versions:
S2877
S2877A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §27-1007, En Con L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S8375, A11690

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Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2877

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the number
of reverse vending machines required for mandatory acceptance of empty
beverage containers

PURPOSE:
This bill would revise the number of reverse vending machines
(RVMs) that are required of certain businesses to redeem empty
beverage containers, based on the square footage of the store.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend
Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) § 27-1007(1) (b) to adjust the
number of RVMs that are required based on the square footage of a
business that sells beverages subject to the New York State
Returnable Container Act. Businesses with at least 40,000 but less
than 60,000 square feet would be required to install two instead of
three RVMs. Businesses with at least 60,000 but less than 85,000
square feet would be required to install three instead of four RVMs.
Businesses with at least 85,000 square feet would be required to
install four instead of eight RVMs.

This section would also clarify that such square footage thresholds
are calculated on the area devoted to the display of merchandise for
sale to the public, and not the entire footprint of the building.
Back room storage areas, for example, would not be included in the
calculation.

Similarly, Section 1 would exempt from the RVM requirements any
business that devotes no more than 5% of its floor space to the
display and sale of consumer commodities, as that term is defined by
Agriculture and Markets Law § 214-h.

Finally, Section 1 would exempt from the RVM requirements any business
that obtains a waiver from the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation that authorizes the use of alternative technology. Any
such technology would be required to determine if a container is
redeemable, accumulate information regarding containers redeemed, and
issue legal tender, or a scrip, receipt, or other form of credit for
the refund value, that can be exchanged for a period of not less than
sixty days without requiring the purchase of other goods:

Section 2 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW:
The Returnable Container Act, originally enacted by Chapter 200 of the
Laws of 1982, was substantially amended by Part 88 of Chapter 59 of
the Laws of 2009 effective June 1, 2009.

Those amendments replaced ECL § 27-1007, which provided for the
mandatory acceptance of empty beverage containers presented for
redemption of the
deposit. The new ECL § 27-1007, also requiring mandatory acceptance,


includes mandates for the installation of RVMs at any business that
is part of a chain engaged in the same general field of business
which operates ten or more stores in the State under common ownership.

ECL § 27-1007(1) (b) requires eight RVMs for any such chain store that
has an area of at least 85,000 square feet; four RVMs for at least
60,000 but less than 85,000 square feet; and three RVMs for at least
40,000 but less than 60,000 square feet.

ECL § 27-1003(12) defines "reverse vending machine" as an automated
device that uses a laser scanner, microprocessor, or other technology
to accurately recognize the universal product code (UPC) on beverage
containers to determine if the container is redeemable and
accumulates information regarding containers redeemed, including the
number of such containers redeemed, thereby enabling the reverse
vending machine to accept containers from redeemers and to issue a
scrip or receipt for their refund value.

JUSTIFICATION:
The 2009 amendments to the Returnable container Act
recognize the important role RVMs play in implementation of the
statute. Initial experience with the RVM requirements, however,
indicates that some modification of them would be wise and cost
effective.

RVMs are commonly used by retail stores and redemption centers to meet
their obligations to accept empty beverage containers subject to the
Act. The machines provide convenience to the store and the customer
who returns the empty containers to redeem the deposit. By requiring
the installation of eight, four or three RVMs, depending on the
square footage of the business, the 2009 amendments mandate a
substantial increase in the deployment of RVMs.
The installation of eight RVMs is a substantial undertaking requiring
a significant amount of floor space.

The cost of each RVM ranges from approximately $15,000 for a
refurbished machine to $30,000 for a new machine. Therefore, for the
largest stores, the 2009 requirement were expected to impose a cost
range of $150,000 to $240,000 for the machines alone. Experience with
implementation is showing, however, that many stores cannot currently
accommodate eight machines in a location convenient to the customer
because of space constraints. Rather, cost estimates for the
construction of safe and accessible space for eight RVMs at a single
store can range as high as $1,000,000. In addition, some stores have
had to incur an additional cost to apply for and obtain a zoning
variance for the building expansion to accommodate the RVMs.

In contrast, many stores are able to accommodate four RVMs with more
modest work. The Retail Council of New York State and the Food
Industry Alliance of New York both argue that four RVMs at the
largest stores are capable of handling the customer demands.
Moreover, current law requires the stores to accept empty containers
even when the RVMs are not working, and no change is proposed to that
fundamental obligation.

Similarly, experience has shown that some stores with large storage
space not used for the display of merchandise for sale to the public


had triggered the same respective square footage threshold triggered
by other stores with the same overall building footprint but with
much more floor space devoted to the display of merchandise for sale
to the public. As a result, some stores are obligated to install more
RVMs than necessary for their sales volumes. The
bill would address this disparity by clarifying that the square
footage thresholds triggering RVMs are calculated on the area devoted
to the display of merchandise for sale to the public, and not the
entire footprint of the building. Therefore, warehousing and office
space would not be included in the threshold calculations.

In other cases, large stores, such as building supply and department
stores, selling consumer goods other than groceries may sell bottled
water or other beverages as an incidental convenience to customers.
Yet, these stores typically experience very little empty beverage
container returns. Requiring RVMs in this setting imposes an
unnecessary financial burden without any significant benefit to the
public. More- over, container redemption at these stores must
continue to be handled at customer service counters or other areas
within the store. The bill would address this issue by exempting from
the RVM requirement any store that devotes no more than 5% of its
floor space to typical groceries.

Finally, while RVMs are improving the convenience to stores and
customers alike, advancing technologies may soon be available to
increase the efficiency of the redemption process. Accordingly, the
bill would authorize the use of alternative technology upon the
issuance of a waiver from the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation. Any alternative technology would be required to
determine if a container is redeemable, accumulate information on
containers redeemed, and issue either legal tender or a scrip,
receipt, or other form of credit for the refund value, that can be
exchanged for a period of time not less than 60 days without
requiring the purchase of other goods,

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.8374 of 2010; Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill would take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2877

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 2, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation  to  the
  number  of  reverse vending machines required for mandatory acceptance
  of empty beverage containers

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Paragraph  (b) of subdivision 1 of section 27-1007 of the
environmental conservation law, as added by section  4  of  part  SS  of
chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  (b)  Beginning  March first, two thousand ten, a dealer whose place of
business is part of a chain engaged in the same general field  of  busi-
ness  which operates ten or more units in this state under common owner-
ship and whose business [exceeds] HAS AT  LEAST:    (i)  forty  thousand
[square  feet]  but [is] less than sixty thousand square feet DEVOTED TO
THE DISPLAY OF MERCHANDISE FOR SALE TO  THE  PUBLIC  shall  install  and
maintain  at  least [three] TWO reverse vending machines at the dealer's
place of business; (ii) sixty thousand [square feet] but [is] less  than
eighty-five  thousand  square feet DEVOTED TO THE DISPLAY OF MERCHANDISE
FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC shall install and maintain at least [four]  THREE
reverse  vending  machines  at  the dealer's place of business; or (iii)
eighty-five thousand square feet DEVOTED TO THE DISPLAY  OF  MERCHANDISE
FOR  SALE TO THE PUBLIC shall install and maintain at least [eight] FOUR
reverse vending machines at the dealer's place of  business[;  provided,
however,  that  the].  THE requirements of this paragraph to install and
maintain reverse vending machines shall not apply to a dealer that:  (I)
sells  only  refrigerated  beverage  containers of twenty ounces or less
where each beverage container is sold as an individual container that is
not connected to or packaged with any  other  beverage  container;  (II)
SELLS  BEVERAGE  CONTAINERS AND DEVOTES NO MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF ITS
FLOOR SPACE TO THE DISPLAY AND SALE OF CONSUMER COMMODITIES, AS  DEFINED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09051-01-1

S. 2877                             2

IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN-H OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW; OR
(III)  OBTAINS  A  WAIVER  FROM  THE COMMISSIONER AUTHORIZING THE USE OF
ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT DETERMINES IF THE CONTAINER  IS  REDEEMABLE,
ACCUMULATES INFORMATION REGARDING CONTAINERS  REDEEMED, AND ISSUES LEGAL
TENDER,  OR  A  SCRIP,  RECEIPT,  OR OTHER FORM OF CREDIT FOR THE REFUND
VALUE, THAT CAN BE EXCHANGED FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS  THAN  SIXTY  DAYS
WITHOUT REQUIRING THE PURCHASE OF OTHER GOODS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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