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Iowa’s bottle bill stalls

A new bottle bill has stalled in the Iowa Legislature.
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 8:31 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - A new bottle bill has stalled in the Iowa Legislature.

For more than four decades, Iowans have paid a 5 cent bottle deposit when buying a drink in a can or bottle from a grocery store.

Then, if the item is returned to be recycled, the nickel is returned.

The goal with the bill, also known as Iowa’s Beverage Containers Control Law, was to keep liter off the sides of the roads and encourage recycling.

The bill is now closer than ever to passing this year, after decades of attempts to change it.

Advocates for recycling say the current proposal is almost perfect, but it lets grocery stores opt out.

Mick Barry, with Mid-American Recycling, says that’s a mistake.

“Picture Polk County with only one redemption center,” Barry said. “That would not be a pretty picture every day. But with our retailers, all retailers, now with the enforcement that the bill has put in place, they’re the backbone of the system.”

Barry also said people would need to call their legislators and encourage them to pass it this year if they don’t want the bill to be repealed next year.

The lawmaker running the bill, Rep. Brian Lohse, said the house and senate are close to a compromise on the current legislation.

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