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Bottle law expands

Space main concern for several area businesses

November 8, 2009
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald

With the new bottle bill going into effect last week, local retailers said the added work dealing with the additional bottles may be a pain, but it shouldn't have hugely detrimental effect on their business.

The new law provides a 5-cent deposit for bottled water containers. It passed the state Legislature this year after surviving a number of challenges, which stripped a number of bottled drink categories from the original legislation.

For several local retailers that accept returns, space is the primary concern.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Chuck Murray, manager of TJ’s Discount Beverage
Center in Gloversville, pours recyclable cans into a bin at the store Tuesday.

"The biggest problem I'll probably have is finding the room," said Bob Neelis, owner of TJ's Discount Beverage on Elmwood Avenue in Gloversville.

Neelis said the additional bottles coming in will take up a lot of space and his business is already pressed for room.

Neelis said he has some time to figure out where to put all the bottles, though - he doesn't expect a huge rush of additional bottles until the summer, he said.

"It's a seasonal thing," he said. "After the holiday rush, you go into the off season, so that will give us a little time to work it out."

Despite the additional work handling the bottles and finding more space, Neelis said he isn't particularly concerned about the change, partially because it's out of his control.

"You just have to do what you have to do," he said. "There's nothing really that you can change about it."

Ed Abraham Jr. at Naif's in Gloversville agreed with Neelis. He said he doesn't expect the extra work to have a big negative impact on his business.

"For me I don't think it will be a big deal," he said.

Abraham said the store receives from 150 to 200 cases of bottles a week and is expecting about 20 additional cases a week under the new legislation. The work handling the extra bottles will be distributed among the store employees - no one employee will be saddled with all the extra work, Abraham said.

"Pretty much everyone who works here does bottles at one time or another," he said. "Bottled water isn't a big segment of our business so I don't think the workload will increase that much. We will be pressed for space, though."

Abraham said he built another small room to house the bottles the store handles in anticipation of the new legislation.

At Price Chopper in Johnstown, Store Manager Angelo Saccocio said store employees may have some additional work to do handling the extra bottles, but he does not anticipate difficulties. Prior to the legislation going into effect Oct. 31, the sold its existing stock without the 5-cent deposit at a reduced price to get rid of it, Saccocio said.

"Logistically, I don't see there being a problem," he said.

Kayleigh Karutis can be reached by e-mail at



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