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Cigarette butts could join bottles on NY's deposit list

December 28, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 28, 9:50 a.m. ET) — New York has had a bottle-deposit law since 1983, and one lawmaker wants to apply the concept to a completely new product: cigarette butts.

Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, D-Whitestone, has prefiled a bill in the New York Senate for the 2013 legislative session to establish a cigarette butt recycling program, complete with at least a 1-cent deposit for each cigarette butt.

Senate Bill 560 would require the health commissioner to establish the recycling program, which must include a number of items, including the deposit. Also required would be establishment of a statewide redemption system with at least one redemption facility in each county. The redemption centers could have either automated or non-automated recycling equipment, according to the legislation.

The bill also outlines that the recycling program must include a marketing campaign to educate the public on the harm cigarette butts can have on the environment.

The program would also extend to cigars, according to the bill.

The proposal will start the legislative session in a committee on environmental conservation.