DSNY hands out reusable bags in Brooklyn

The New York City Department of Sanitation on Tuesday handed out thousands of reusable bags in Brooklyn just weeks before the city's new bag fee

The city's Department of Sanitation handed out reusable bags in Brooklyn just weeks before the bag fee goes into effect.

The city's Department of Sanitation handed out reusable bags in Brooklyn just weeks before the bag fee goes into effect. (1/31/17)

NEW YORK - The New York City Department of Sanitation on Tuesday handed out thousands of reusable bags in Brooklyn just weeks before the city's new bag fee goes into effect.

The new law goes into effect Feb. 15. After that, shoppers will be charged 5 cents per plastic and paper bag handed out at grocery stores and other locations. Some exemptions include liquor stores and food deliveries, in addition to food stamp recipients.

Authorities cite success in other cities in implementing the program.

Some, however, have vocalized their opposition to the fee. State Sen. Simcha Felder scolded Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday in Albany, saying the fee is a tax on the poor.

Felder submitted a bill aimed at blocking the bag fee law that is now under consideration in the state Assembly.

Sanitation officials say 10 billion bags are dumped into landfills every year.

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