When Rodney Cooper opened Terrapin Bottle and Can Return Center in Perth in January, it was the only one in Fulton County.
Then, a few months later, John Johnson opened Johnny's Bottle and Can Return Center in Johnstown.
Suddenly, the county had two establishments dedicated solely to the business of accepting bottles and cans that carried the 5-cent state deposit.
Workers are shown on the roof of 10 Broadway, which was recently obtained by John Johnson, owner of Johnny’s Bottle and Can Redemption Center in Johnstown, on Thursday in Gloversville. Johnson plans to open a redemption center at the site.
By the end of this month, there could be three, as Johnson is expanding his business to Gloversville.
Johnson opened his Johnstown location April 2 after doing part-time construction. Upon deciding in December that he needed a full-time business, he saved his money and opened the return center, citing a need.
Before Cooper and Johnson opened their businesses, there were no redemption centers in Fulton County.
The only places accepting bottle and can redemptions were supermarkets, Walmart and various beverage and convenience stores. No one, however, was dedicated to accepting bottles and cans.
Cooper opened Terrapin around the start of the year.
After Johnson later opened his center, he said the business was an instant and "big success." He said in his first three weeks of business, he took in almost 70,000 bottles and cans.
The business is run by Johnson and his family. He's the owner, but constantly at his side at the redemption center are his daughter, Priscilla, and his son, Zach.
He recently purchased the old C&D Plate building at 10 Broadway in Gloversville, and work has been ongoing to fit the building as a redemption center since he received approval from the city Planning Board on June 7.
Johnson said on his Facebook page he hopes to have the new location open by the middle of this month.
Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Wally Hart touted the convenience of a new bottle redemption center in the city.
"I think any time it makes it convenient for people to return [reyclables], it encourages them to do that instead of just throwing them in the garbage or on the side of the road," Hart said. "It provides people with another alternative."
Personal reasons have shut down Terrapin for the time being. A sign on the door Wednesday said the business was closed due to a family illness. Cooper could not be reached for comment.
When the new Bigger Bottle Bill was enacted by New York state in late 2010, it increased the handling fee for retailers and redeemers to 3.5 cents per container.
According to www.bottlebill.org, redemption centers are paid 8.5 cents for every bottle or can returned, netting them a profit of 3.5 cents per container.
Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amanda Whistle contributed to this report.