Archive for October, 2009

Water Bottles Now Included in New York’s Container Deposit Law

October 30th, 2009 2 comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Water bottles will now be included in New York State’s 5-cent beverage container deposit law after Oct. 31, thanks to a ruling by a judge earlier this month.

U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts ruled after a court hearing last week that the expansion would be enacted; she went on to permanently enjoined a provision of the bill that would have required bottlers to have state-specific UPC labels on bottles.

New York becomes the third state this year and sixth overall to include water bottles in its deposit program. Oregon added water bottles Jan. 1 and Connecticut on Oct. 1.

Overall, 11 states have deposit laws that include carbonated soft drinks, beer and water bottles. California, Hawaii and Maine also include non-carbonated beverages such as teas and energy drinks.

“It seems to me that this is certainly a trend now,” Laura Haight, senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group said. “We certainly hope that New York will be a trendsetter, and that more states will do this. The environmental benefits of recycling plastic include not only litter reduction, but energy savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. You can get a lot of bang for your buck from deposit laws.”

Eight other states, including Tennessee and Massachusetts, are currently considering bottle bills or extension of bottle bills to include water.

According to an analysis by the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) in Culver City, Calif., the deposit program should increase the number of water bottles recycled in New York from 487 million in 2006 to 2.5 billion in 2010, when the program is in effect for an entire year. Only 14 percent of water bottles in New York were recycled in 2006, compared to a 70 percent recycling rate for soft drinks, according to CRI.

CRI said the additional 2 billion water bottles that are expected to be recycled on an annual basis in New York will keep 163.7 million pounds out of material out of landfills and incinerators, and the energy saved by recycling these additional containers will be enough to provide power to 43,660 households for an entire year.

Water bottles account for 25 percent of all beverage sales in New York state. The expanded bottle bill applies to all water drinks as long as they don’t contain sugar — which means that vitamin drinks, iced teas, sports drink, juices and sugared water drinks are still excluded.

Deposits apply to all beverage containers under one gallon. Bottled water represents 69 percent of all non-carbonated beverages sold in New York.

The bottle bill had been challenged in court in May by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Nestle Waters North America and Polar Corp.

“Now that the deposit is in place, I think we are just about done in Albany,” said Tom Lauria, vice president of communications for IBWA. “We got rid of the New York state-specific UPC code and got our members a lot more time to get ready for this.

A spokeswoman for Nestle said the company “supports the bill, [but] we want to see it expanded further.” The company has said in the past that the exclusion of certain beverages puts bottled water at a price disadvantage, and that it would seek to get the bill amended in the next legislative session.

After a preliminary court hearing last August, Nestle Chairman and CEO Kim Jeffery issued a statement, saying that deposit laws “must apply to all beverages,” including the sports drinks, teas, juices and energy drinks that are excluded from the expanded bottle bill.

Other provisions of the New York law went into effect Aug. 13. The changes increased the handling fee that distributors pay to grocers, convenience stores and redemption centers for handling bottle returns from 2 cent to 3.5 cents — the first increase since 1997.

In addition, 80 percent of the unclaimed nickel deposits in New York — an estimated $115 million annually — will now go to the state, with distributors and bottlers keeping the rest. Previously, distributors and bottlers had kept all of the unclaimed deposits.

Find more information on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website

Results from International Day of Climate Action

October 27th, 2009 2 comments

According to the site, the International Day of Climate Action was a huge success (October 24, 2009). Here’s an excerpt from the site:

What you’ve accomplished so far:

1) ‘World’s most widespread day of political action’ last Saturday, with 5245 actions in 181 countries.

International Day of Climate Action - Golden Gate Bridge

International Day of Climate Action - Golden Gate Bridge

2) Saturation press coverage, that has helped drive the 350 number home. At one point this weekend, we were the top story (simultaneously) on CNN, The New York Times, Le Monde, Google News, and on and on all around the world. Millions of people now know that scientists say that 350 parts per million carbon dioxide is the most that we can safely have in the atmosphere.

3) 19,000 photos, and many hours of video, documenting the day’s actions.

4) The first delivery of batches of those photos, to the Secretary General of the UN.

What comes next:

1) The delivery by local organizers everywhere of photos of their events to their local, regional, and national officials and a report (link here) on the response

2) Our core team is getting ready to go to Barcelona in a few days. It’s the site of the last negotiating session before the big Copenhagen climate conference in December. We’ll be distributing photos, factsheets, and scientific data to every delegate there, using the power of your events to insure they listen to the science

3) We’re busy planning with other big organizations for how best to coordinate actions going into Copenhagen. We’ll let you know as quickly as we can as plans develop. is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that science and justice demand.

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. Our focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

Check out some great images of the event on the Flickr site

Categories: event, recycle Tags: ,

International Day of Climate Action – October 24, 2009

October 23rd, 2009 No comments

October 24 is the International Day of Climate Action, and if you haven’t heard about it (where have you been?), it’s time to get involved. Campaign Campaign

The global talks taking place in December in Copenhagen represent an opportunity to save the planet from…ourselves. But it looks like participating governments are still a little hesitant to commit—which is where the people they represent (citizens like you and me) come in. From now until October 24, people should be organizing and spreading the word that if we don’t do enough now to slow global warming, it’s going to be too late.

The idea of the International Day of Climate Action is to put pressure on governments to push for what the Tck Tck Tck campaign calls an “ambitious, fair, and binding” climate deal in Copenhagen.

It is probably too late to organize your own event. But, check out this page and support an event near to you!

Categories: event, recycle Tags: ,

ecycler Showcased on Ziipa Today

October 21st, 2009 No comments

Come check out our profile on and give us five stars. Ziipa’s goal is to showcase the best Web 2.0 websites, start-ups and applications. Sounds good to us!

Showcase here:

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags:

How To Make Quick Cash At College

October 17th, 2009 2 comments

Need to make some quick cash while at school, follow these tips:

  1. Recycle bottles and cans:  Throw a party and make sure that all cans and bottles stay at your place. ecycler is King
  2. Get a job:  You might have to work at McDonald’s and you might hate life, but at least you’ll have money.
  3. Sell your body for money:  No, not prostitution…give plasma!
  4. Sell your unused stuff on eBay or Craigslist:  Go through your old stuff at home and see what you can get rid of.
  5. Sell your old textbooks on Amazon:  You can usually get more money from selling your books on a site like Amazon than you would from the bookstore.
  6. Take notes in class and sell them:  You’re already in class taking notes, might as well try to sell them.  Post this on your facebook and you might just find some interested buyers writing on your wall.
  7. Be a tutor:  Tutor the dumb dumb in class and then make them pay you for it.

Register at

Categories: recycle Tags:

Featured on Feedmyapp Today

October 13th, 2009 No comments

Environment Social networking Web 2.0 Site: Collect. Connect. Recycle.

According to Feedmyapp: Ecycler creates a new way to recycle by connecting people discarding cans, bottles and newspapers with those wishing to collect them.

Ecycler provides an alternative to the many U.S. households that are not offered curb-side recycling. It’s also an option for people who have to pay for curb-side recycling or who want to have their recyclables picked up when and where they desire.

For the individual (or group) collecting recyclables, ecycler provides an entrepreneurship opportunity. Ecycler is driven by these collectors who establish an ecycler recycling program in their community. Collectors can download personalized business cards and posters generated by and then post them in public places. Collector accounts also include a customizable ecycler URL, i.e., their profile page. Anyone who has access to the Internet can become an ecycler collector.

Discarders can do their part for the environment while at the same time helping collectors in need of additional income. The discarders’ recyclables are “collected” by these individuals or groups and redeemed for cash at a local recycling center. Ecycler supports this community building for groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Church groups, social clubs, etc. by making available the same marketing materials used by individual collectors on

Ecycler encourages people to discard their recyclables for free; however, discarders can request a portion of the proceeds from the collector. Discarders can track their carbon credits on the site. In addition to the automated calculation of materials recycled though, discarders have the option of listing how many recyclables they’ve given away on their own to be included in their total.

Ecycler provides an accountability tool by allowing collectors and discarders to rate their experiences with one another.

Click to see original Feedmyapp feature

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags:

GPO Prints the Congressional Record on 100 Percent Recycled Paper

October 12th, 2009 2 comments

The United States Government Printing Office (GPO) and the U.S. Congress have announced that the GPO began printing the Congressional Record on 100 percent recycled-content paper.

The Congressional Record, the official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress, is printed by GPO every day that Congress is in session. In a news release, GPO says it has been testing 100 percent recycled paper throughout 2009. “Those tests showed no difference in printability or run-ability as compared to the 40 percent post-consumer [scrap] recycled paper GPO has been using for years,” says the organization.

“It puts the official proceedings of Congress on recycled paper and that is good for our environment and good for our future,” says Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “This is one more step in the ‘Green the Capitol’ program—making sustainability a priority, placing conservation and energy efficiency at the top of our agenda, and putting America’s leaders at the forefront of an issue that affects all Americans.”

Pelosi offered the remarks when Public Printer Bob Tapella presented her with copies of the Congressional Record printed on 100 percent recycled paper.

“Sustainable Environmental Stewardship is both good business and good government,” declared Tapella. “The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate are both very much in favor of environmental initiatives, and printing the Congressional Record on 100 percent recycled newsprint is one step further in advancing their agendas.”

The GPO describes itself as “the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. government information in all its forms.” More information on the organization is available at

Video: GPO YouTube video

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

San Jose Bans Single Use Shopping Bags

October 8th, 2009 No comments

San Jose Says ‘Paper Nor Plastic’ by Trey Granger

When San Jose voted last week to address the use of disposable bags in grocery stores, it didn’t focus solely on plastic like many other bag bans. Starting in 2011, the city will not offer plastic or paper bags in its retail stores.

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the U.S., making it the largest city to have a bag ban at all. Paper bags that are made of at least 40 percent recycled content will still be offered, though, but consumers will still be charged a fee per bag.

Mayor Chuck Reed said a regional approach was the only way to effectively deal with the plastic-bag trash that collects on San Jose’s streets and in rural and urban waterways.

San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County, and at the press conference announcing the law, other Santa Clara city mayors were in attendance to show their support. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said he’s looking for neighboring cities to pass the same law, and also promoted the use of reusable bags as an alternative.

Plastic bags receive more negative attention because they are a major source of marine debris. However, paper bags have a large environmental footprint since it takes four times the energy to make a paper bag than its plastic counterpart.

From a disposal standpoint, both paper and plastic bags are recyclable. However, Earth911’s Local Recycling Search includes almost twice as many locations to recycle plastic bags as paper. This is because many grocery stores already collect plastic bags for recycling, whereas paper bag recycling is generally reserved for curbside programs and recycling centers.

Opponents of the measure are concerned about its effect on local businesses. “This will have a major financial impact on my business and disrupt the shopping patterns of my customers,” said Gian Rossini, owner of the Grocery Outlet store, which only provides plastic or reusable bags to its customers. “We have a very strong (plastic bag) recycling program and really encourage our customers to bring them back to be recycled.”

San Jose’s bag ban will not affect restaurants or non-profits. Its passage is also dependent on an environmental impact study that will be conducted by the city.

See full Earth911 article here: San Jose Says ‘Paper Nor Plastic’ by Trey Granger

Also, see San Jose Business Journal article:  San Jose takes the lead on plastic bag ban

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

ecycler Featured on

October 7th, 2009 No comments

We were featured on today.

Bringing together those who want to give away recyclables and the ones who want to collect them is the service this site renders, and it is a valuable service any way you look at it. Through the site, any person who is interested in recycling can market himself and let others within his community know that he is willing to collect recyclables.

The team responsible for it cites the job creation aspect of eCycler as one of its main assets. That is, eCycler provides a mean for individuals or groups to become self-organized and collect recyclables from those that are willing to give them away. That means that Boy Scout Troops and Church groups among others could advertise themselves using the provided marketing materials, and let the community know they are recycling. People would then look for them as a viable alternative to curbside pickup. The group would raise money for its cause by collecting the recyclables, and every party is benefited by such an approach.

Right now, the site is accepting submissions by collectors who want to market their own recycling programs. If you are one, and the basic premise described above appealed to you, then dropping by the site is certainly worth considering.

Check out the feature here:

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Connecticut Requires Deposit on Water Bottles

October 6th, 2009 No comments

As of Oct 1, 2009, Connecticut’s new bottle bill legislation is in full swing.

Connecticut’s bottle deposit law is not just for soda and beer anymore. In March 2009, Gov. Jodi Rell signed a deficit reduction measure that expands the deposit law, commonly known as a “bottle bill,” to include bottled water. Milk containers are still exempt.

Bottle bills require consumers to pay refundable deposits on certain beverage containers. Connecticut is one of 11 states that have such a law. Since 1980, Connecticut residents have paid a 5-cent deposit on each container of a carbonated beverage. The deposits are redeemed when the containers are returned for recycling.

The expansion of the deposit to bottled water took effect on April 1, 2009. However, manufacturers could apply for a waiver that would give them until Oct. 1, 2009 to make the necessary changes to their bottle labels. The state has granted waivers to about 40 manufacturers, according to The Connecticut Post. The new law also exempts three-liter and larger containers as well as containers made of high-density polyethylene.

The state will keep the unredeemed deposits to help its bottom line. Connecticut officials originally projected that the bottle bill expansion would bring in an additional $3.8 million by the end of June, but that was before the state granted the 40 waivers.

In an interview with the WNPR radio network, Jesse Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Sierra Club’s Connecticut chapter who has been lobbying for the expansion for years, admitted that financial considerations drove the move. But, “this really is the way to most cost effectively and efficiently assure that a very valuable commodity, this PET plastic, is actually recycled, rather than incinerated,” she told the network.

In another interview with WNPR, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, which opposed the expansion, dismissed the expanded container deposit law as “a money grab.”

“I think the other side of this is how cynical of a public policy this is,” Stevens added. “The legislature is betting that the citizens don’t recycle.”

Despite excuses, statistics have shown that bottle bill states have a much better percentage of increased recycling and a decrease in littering over non-bottle bill states.

More Details of the Legislation: CT Bottle Bill