DMR: Iowa's bottle bill helps charities and working families

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2018/03/28/iowas-bottle-bill-charities-working-families/465864002/

Sheri Cunningham, Iowa View contributor

I am a small business owner and operator of Pella Can and Bottle Redemption Center, and I have seen firsthand the positive impact that Iowa’s Beverage Container Redemption Law, commonly known as the “Bottle Bill,” has had in our state.

Many redemption centers provide fundraising opportunities for nonprofits and charitable organizations in their area. In my redemption center alone, we work with more than 40 different charitable and non-profit groups.

The bottle bill helped these organizations raise more than $65,000 through our redemption center. The Marion County Humane Society, for example, uses those funds to pay its electric bill, phone bill and water bill. Some of these organizations may shut off their lights if the bottle bill were repealed.

There are approximately 125 redemption centers in Iowa. The people who own and work at those centers rely on the bottle bill to support their families. I have owned and operated the Pella Redemption Center for 18 years, and I have seven employees who are working to support their family. My sister, a single mother, owns the redemption center in Chariton and provides many of the same fundraising and employment opportunities. Repealing the bottle bill would force me to close my doors and eliminate these jobs. 

The current bottle bill and proposals to modernize the bottle bill do not tax the consumer. Rather, it is a privately administered program run by the distributors, retailers and redemption centers. The State of Iowa does not collect a single penny. In addition, a recent, independent poll showed that more than 70% of Iowans favor some form of the bottle bill. Proposals to repeal the bottle bill would impose a fee and an excise tax to establish a $60 million fund that the State of Iowa would administer in the form of grants to cities and counties for the implementation of a new recycling program.

Grocery stores and opponents of the bottle bill complain about having the containers brought into stores because of sanitation reasons. What people don’t know is that the current law allows grocery stores to not take containers if they have an agreement with a redemption center to be their designated center. In many other states, the grocery stores, redemption centers and distributors have worked together on a comprehensive solution to take redemption out of the grocery stores and increase access to redemption through satellite locations that make it easier for the consumer. In addition, just this year, more than 40 legislators (both Democrats and Republicans) sponsored legislation, HF2155, to modernize the bottle bill, but the bill was not even allowed a subcommittee hearing to discuss these ideas. 

Rather than repealing the bottle bill, we should be looking for a comprehensive solution to address the recycling needs in our state. 

Sheri Cunningham is the owner and operator of Pella Can and Redemption Center in Pella. 

 

 

DMR: Bottle Bill is good for our state’s environment and economy

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2018/03/20/bottle-bill-good-our-states-environment-and-economy/441535002/

Mick Barry, Iowa View contributor

Former governors Terry Branstad and Robert Ray shared a vision nearly 40 years ago to implement Iowa’s Bottle Bill as a part of Iowa’s highly successful, integrated and multi-faceted recycling process.

Iowa’s Bottle Bill has thrived and continues to be overwhelmingly popular, with more than 70% of Iowans supporting the current law or expanding it.

As the president of Iowa’s largest recycling company, Mid America Recycling, I understand both sides of the argument concerning repeal and expansion of the current Bottle Bill. 

Myth: Bottle Bill programs are outdated and less efficient.

Fact: According to the Container Recycling Institute, states with container deposit laws have a beverage container recycling rate of around 60%, while non-deposit states reach only about 24%.  In comparison, Iowa’s redemption rate measured significantly higher at 71%.  This law keeps an estimated 1.65 billion containers out of Iowa’s landfills, ditches and waters each year. 

Myth: The Iowa Bottle Bill is a government-funded, government-run program. 

Fact: The Bottle Bill is operated entirely by private industry. The retailer pays a nickel to the distributor. The consumer pays a nickel to the retailer when they purchase the carbonated beverage. Then, when the consumer redeems the carbonated beverage, they are fully refunded the 5 cent deposit by the retailer or redemption center. The distributor then pays the retailer or redemption center a 1-cent handling fee for the carbonated beverage. The distributors then keep any excess money from unredeemed beverages that they do not pay out in handling fees. Curbside or single-stream programs are entirely government-run through government contracts with municipalities and counties. Additionally, proposals to repeal the bottle bill would impose a fee and an excise tax collected by the State to the tune of $60 million.

Myth: Iowa’s Bottle Bill can be replaced by curbside or single-stream recycling (all recyclable materials collected in one bin and picked up curbside or taken to a recycling center).

Fact: Bottle Bill opponents propose expanding single-stream recycling as a vehicle to replace the Bottle Bill.  While some municipalities have established single-stream recycling programs, most rural communities have not.  According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, roughly one-third of Iowa’s population does not have access to single-stream recycling. 

Myth: Curbside or single-stream recycling is a more efficient way of recycling bottles.

Fact: The biggest problem in single stream recycling is the cross contamination of plastic, cans, and glass when they are collected together.  The numbers do not lie – single stream recycling does a great job of collecting paper but it does not have the success rate for collecting containers. Rather, curbside or single-stream and the bottle bill complement each other in keeping Iowa clean and reducing recyclable material from ever entering the landfill. 

Myth: Iowa has the necessary infrastructure to handle glass recycling if the Bottle Bill were repealed.     

Fact: Most Iowa recycling companies, like Mid America Recycling, would bear the responsibility to recycle glass, which would require new machinery.  These additional costs would be forced upon Iowa cities and counties; costs that would ultimately fall to the taxpayers. 

Myth: Grocers are forced to redeem and collect cans and bottles.

Fact: The current Bottle Bill law states that grocers can choose to accept the deposit containers or have an agreement to have them redeemed at a local redemption center. However, retailers continue to accept the deposits for obvious business reasons; it brings customers into their stores. 

In short, the Bottle Bill is good for our state’s environment, economy, and it should not be repealed. Rather, we should be working together to improve and encourage recycling in our state. 

Mick Barry is the president of Mid America Recycling.

CRG: Once again, Iowa bottle bill debated and deferred

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/once-again-iowa-bottle-bill-debated-and-deferred-20180320

DES MOINES — Another legislative session. Another bottle bill debate. Another dead end.

Forty years after Iowa adopted a nickel deposit on carbonated beverage containers that is refunded when the cans and bottle are returned to retailers, grocers don’t like it, environmental groups love it and the debate whether to expand it or kill it continues at the Capitol.

For this year, however, the debate is over.

“This bill needs to start somewhere other than Ways and Means with people who are dedicated to this kind of subject matter."

- Guy Vander Linden, R-Oskaloosa and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee

 

“House File 575 is going nowhere,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Guy Vander Linden, R-Oskaloosa, said at the beginning of a hearing on the bill that was approved by the Environmental Protection Committee last year. “We’re convinced others have better ideas. We’re here to listen to better ideas.”

Most of the ideas presented in the 45-minute hearing sounded a lot like those offered in the past.

Brad Epperly, representing the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, called for repeal of the nickel deposit in favor of a broader waste recycling effort tied to curbside recycling. Bottle and can redemption rates have fallen from more 86 percent to 71 percent.

“They’re not in our ditches. They’re not in our garbage cans,” he said. “They’re in our recycling bins” because consumers would rather do that than take them back to the store. He pointed out that 83 percent of Iowa communities have curbside recycling available.

The proposal from the grocers and Iowa Beverage Association would not only eliminate the nickel deposit, but expand curbside recycling, removed container redemption at grocery stores, create a beverage industry-funded recycling effort and establish incentives for landfill diversion.

Legislation proposed by grocers and the Iowa Beverage Association called for a comprehensive recycling solution that addresses paper, cardboard, glass and plastic.

“Single-stream seems to be the silver bullet we’re all looking for,” countered Mick Barry, president of Mid America Recycling, “but right now that’s a lead bullet,” The market for single-stream recycling material is collapsing as China no longer it. His business is being offered a “negative $32” to deliver recyclable waste to mills that re-use it.

“Repeal of the bottle bill is a disaster waiting to happen,” Barry said.

Matt McKinney, speaking for the Iowa Recycling Association, warned that the proposal by the grocers and bottlers would shift container recycling from the private sector to the public sector where it would lead to bigger government and higher taxes.

Troy Willard said that plan would put his 21-year-old Can Shed redemption center in Cedar Rapids that handles 100 million container a year out of business. His and other redemption centers employ thousands of Iowans and he told the subcommittee they should be the solution for all beverage containers.

That also was Rep. Andy McKean’s message to the subcommittee. The Anamosa Republican is the lead sponsor of HF 2155 that would preserve the 5-cent deposit on bottles and cans containing alcoholic beverages and carbonated drinks, and it would also expand the list of covered containers to include teas, water, juice and sports drinks. Grocery stores would still be required to redeem beverage containers unless there is a redemption center within one mile of their locations.

The bottle bill and curbside recycling should not be mutually exclusive, he said. He recommended increasing the handling fee so redemption centers could be profitable and gradually expand the variety of containers covered by the bottle bill.

While Vander Linden declared the bill dead for the session, he concluded the hearing by predicting the discussion will continue. McKean’s bill represents one approach, he said.

“He’s got 42 players from both parties, so that’s not going to go away,” Vander Linden said, adding, “This bill needs to start somewhere other than Ways and Means with people who are dedicated to this kind of subject matter.”

Sioux City Journal: The Can Farm ready to serve Morningside

Read the full article here: http://siouxcityjournal.com/business/local/the-can-farm-ready-to-serve-morningside/article_282bea5a-1e87-5776-b23c-cbc136f130bc.html

SIOUX CITY — The owners of The Can Farm know change is hard, but they think Morningside residents eventually will adapt to redeeming cans and bottles at their center, rather than local supermarkets.

Since Iowa enacted what’s commonly called bottle bill in 1978, most residents have redeemed their cans and bottles directly at a store that also sells pop and other beverages subject to the 5-cent per can deposit.

However, since March 1, that has no longer been an option for them. The Can Farm, 2801 Correctionville Road, has been designated as the certified redemption center for Walmart, Fareway and two other grocers in the Morningside/Sunnybrook area.

Read more here.

Bi-Partisan Legislation Introduced to Modernize Iowa’s Bottle Bill

DES MOINES – Today bi-partisan legislation to modernize and improve Iowa’s Bottle Bill was introduced by Representative Andy McKean (R-Anamosa), the Vice Chair of the House Environmental Protection committee. He was joined by a cosponsor of the legislation, Representative Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque), Ranking member of the Environmental Protection committee, and Troy Willard of the Can Shed Redemption center in Cedar Rapids. In addition, 40 cosponsors have signed on to this legislation, with broad support from both Republicans and Democrats.  

Since 1978, Iowa’s Bottle Bill has thrived and continues to be overwhelmingly popular.  Iowans are familiar with this law; they know it works and they like it. This legislation will bring the Iowa Bottle Bill into the 21st century by modernizing the 5 cent deposit to include water, juice, and sports drink bottles. Most of these containers are not being recycled despite single-stream access and thus it is important the bottle bill be modernized to reflect today’s consumer behaviors. 

The legislation also increases the handling fee for retailers and redemption centers from 1 cent to 2 cents. This rate has remained unchanged since the bottle bill program began 40 years ago. This will increase access to recycling for Iowans living in rural and urban areas alike.

"I'm very pleased that 40 State Representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, joined me in sponsoring this legislation,” said State Representative Andy McKean.  “I think it is compelling evidence of the strong public support to keep and expand the Bottle Bill that's been good for both the environment and economic development."

“More Iowans are becoming interested in comprehensive materials management policies and programs. The goal of reducing, reusing, recycling and rethinking our consumption of natural resources is a noble one worthy of concerted legislative attention. To the extent that revisiting Iowa's beverage container redemption law may be involved, we should first consider modernizing that system to reflect the evolution in consumer tastes, changes in product packaging and the economics of recycling,” said State Representative Isenhart, “I am pleased to join Rep. McKean to jump-start that conversation in a non-partisan way.”

“Since starting my business 20 years ago, I have seen the bottle bill save billions of cans, plastic and glass bottles from ending up in the landfill,” said Troy Willard, “This legislation will modernize Iowa’s  bottle bill program, increasing access to recycling and allowing more opportunities for consumers and businesses to participate in keeping Iowa clean.”

Modernize Iowa's bottle deposit law

 

Troy Willard, guest columnist

There is a reason three times as many water bottles are being landfilled in Iowa as compared to bottle-deposit containers (soda and beer): because curbside recycling does a poor job recovering beverage containers, especially as compared to Iowa’s highly-efficient bottle bill.

Also disturbing is the trend that non-deposit containers (water and sports drinks) are being landfilled — despite increasing curbside availability — at twice the rate in the last 6 years. Without a financial incentive to return these containers, people tend to throw them away, especially a container designed to be consumed “on the go.”

Curbside recycling works well for residents in densely populated areas and for non-container materials (paper, cardboard, etc.). This is one of many reasons the two programs — curbside and the bottle bill — complement each other and provide a more comprehensive approach to recycling than just one of them.

Nationally, curbside programs only recover about a third of the beverage containers that are actually recycled under Iowa’s bottle bill, the rest end up either in landfills or ditches.

Repealing the bottle bill is clearly not an answer if the question is how can we improve recycling in Iowa.

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association and Iowa Beverage Association would like nothing more than to wash their hands of any responsibility for the recovery and recycling of containers they profit from.

The $60 million dollars they seek to raise through a “fee” is a drop in the bucket for what it would take to expand and maintain a system statewide that only will recover a third of the containers our bottle bill successfully does.

Once that tax money is gone, the cost will fall on cities and counties; a cost that will ultimately be put on taxpayers. On top of that, the litter tax element of their plan falls woefully short of covering the actual cost it will take to clean up the inevitable problem that will result.

The common theme throughout recent polls is a majority of Iowans like the bottle bill and want to see it modernized.

When looking at ways to help redemption centers survive and appease grocers, the first thing that needs to be addressed is the 40-year-old, 1-cent handling fee.

A much-overdue increase in the handling fee would help entice people to open new redemption centers.

With more redemption centers, more Iowans would gravitate toward them as an alternative to grocery stores as a point of redemption and give grocery stores the opportunity to designate and opt out of redemption altogether.

Also, update the definition of “beverage” to reflect our modern marketplace by including non-carbonated drink containers (often the same container as their carbonated counterparts) so they are recycled and don’t end up in our landfills.

What can make recycling in Iowa more successful, convenient and modern?

We should take our lead from states with similar legislation that have updated their bottle bills to keep pace with inflation and beverage industry trends. This will reinvigorate redemption businesses and make investments into redemption technology possible.

In turn, this will make the customer experience better and easier, relieve grocers from being the focal point of redemption and double recycling of containers nearly overnight.

• Troy Willard is CEO of the Can Shed in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/guest-columnists/modernize-iowas-bottle-deposit-law-20180114

 

The Can Shed - By the Numbers

The Can Shed has served the needs of consumers, retailers, and distributors of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor for over 20 years.  We have walk-in locations in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City which facilitate the process of collecting and recycling beverage containers.  Collectively, the two facilities see between 300 and 400 customers daily resulting in over 100 million containers recycled annually.  Additionally, we haul and process recovered deposit material from numerous distributors across eastern Iowa.  We processed over 12.5 million pounds of material for recycling last year alone. 

In addition to contributing to the environmental well-being of our state, the Can Shed takes great pride in supporting fantastic community organizations.  Groups like Habitat for Humanity, Project Aware, and other school, church, and sports groups depend on can redemption to fund activities.  The Can Shed distributed over $67,000 last year to these charitable organizations.  Without that money, many of those groups’ activities would not have been possible.

The bottle bill was signed into law in 1978 with the goal of improving recycling in Iowa.  It has accomplished that goal and has even helped Iowa become a top five recycling state in the country.  Repealing the bottle bill would be a terrible mistake for Iowa.  Not only would more than 40 Can Shed employees be without a job, but Iowa’s can recycling numbers would drop dramatically resulting in a spike in litter.  The bottle bill is good for the environment, it is good for Iowa, and it needs to stay!

Troy Willard

New Bottle Bill Polling Results Released

On March 9th, 2017, supporters of Iowa’s existing bottle bill flocked to the Iowa Capitol for a press conference releasing exciting new bottle bill polling results.  The poll, conducted by J. Ann Selzer, reaffirmed overwhelming support of Iowa’s bottle bill still exists today.  Nearly nine in ten (88%) active Iowa voters say the bottle bill has been good for the state.  “The bottle bill is popular, and most Iowa voters do not want to see it repealed.  If anything, they are open to the idea of including more types of beverage containers under the law – requiring a deposit for water and sport drink bottles and cans which would be eligible for redemption,” explained Selzer. 

The recent poll further shows nearly four in five support keeping the law in some form (77%); twice the respondents supported expanding the bottle bill (40%) than for repeal (20%).  Representative Andy McKean (R-Anamosa) concurs, “I was first elected to represent Jones County in the Iowa House in 1979 when the bottle bill first took effect.  I witnessed the immediate positive impact of the bill and would like to see it expanded and enhanced as part of a comprehensive statewide recycling program.”

Poll results can be found here: http://www.iowabottlebill.com/2017-bottle-bill-poll-results/

About the Poll:

Between February 23rd and 26th , 2017, Selzer & Company conducted a poll of 700 active registered voters in the state of Iowa, with the purpose of assessing Iowa voters’ support for or opposition to the bottle bill, which governs deposits and redemptions for certain cans and bottles. A random sample was drawn from active records in the Iowa voter registration list. Responses were weighted by age, sex, and congressional district to match the proportions found in all active voter registration records in Iowa.

News coverage:

The Cedar Rapids Gazette – 3/9/17

Poll: Iowans strongly favor deposit law – Rod Boshart

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/poll-iowans-strongly-favor-deposit-law-20170309

 

Des Moines Register – 3/9/17

Ending Iowa’s bottle return law would spur roadside litter, say critics – Bill Petroski

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/09/ending-iowas-bottle-return-law-would-spur-roadside-litter-say-critics/98952010/

 

KGAN – 3/9/17

Poll shows “almost universal support” for Iowa’s Bottle Bill – Steffi Lee

http://cbs2iowa.com/news/local/poll-shows-almost-universal-support-for-iowas-bottle-bill

 

House Study Bill 163 Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee

On March 9, 2017, the bottle bill repeal legislation (House Study Bill 163) was introduced and referred to the Ways and Means Committee.  The legislation has been reassigned and is now House File 575 and can be found here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=HF 575&ga=87

Ways and Means bills are exempt from legislative funnel requirements meaning the bill will be alive for the remainder of the 2017 Legislative Session.  If it does not advance further, the bill will begin the 2018 Legislative Session in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Bottle Bill Repeal Legislation Passes Out of House Environmental Protection Committee

On March 1, 2017, House Study Bill 163 narrowly passed out of the House Environmental Protection Committee.  Through aggressive lobbying efforts, coordinated by the coalition supporting Iowa’s existing bottle bill, significant pressure was applied to kill the bill.  After numerous House Republican caucuses and frustration expressed by multiple House Republicans (four made public comments during the hearing that they were only voting “aye” to allow for “continued conversations”), House Study Bill passed nearly following party lines.  Eleven Republicans voted “aye” and nine Democrats and one Republican voted “nay”.

By passing out of the House Environmental Protection Committee in advance of the first legislative funnel (Friday, March 3rd), the bill remains alive.  It is expected to be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Bottle Bill Repeal Legislation Passes out of Subcommittee

On February 27th, supporters of Iowa's bottle bill packed room 102 at the Capitol for the subcommittee meeting on House Study Bill 163.  Environmentalists, conservationists, redemption center owners, recycling professionals, beer distributors, and citizens at large from across the state gathered to voice their opposition to House Study Bill 163. 

Ultimately the House Study Bill 163 passed out of subcommittee with the three Republicans signing the bill to advance to the full House Environmental Protection Committee: Representatives Ross Paustian (R - Scott County, District 92); Skyler Wheeler (R -Sioux County, District 4); and Walt Rogers (R - Black Hawk County, District 60); Representatives Vicki Lensing (D - Johnson County) and Charles Isenhart (D - Dubuque County) also served on the subcommittee.

To read more: 

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/iowa-house-advances-bill-repealing-replacing-beverage-container-recycling-program/98477636/

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/revamp-of-iowas-bottle-bill-moving-ahead-20170227

 

Bottle Bill Repeal Legislation Introduced in Iowa House

On February 23rd, legislation aimed at repealing the Bottle Bill, the cornerstone of Iowa’s recycling processes, was introduced by State Representative Ross Paustian of Scott County.  Rep. Paustian, chair of the House Environmental Protection Committee, introduced House File 163.

For nearly forty years, Iowa’s Bottle Bill has thrived and continues to be overwhelmingly popular.  Iowans are familiar with this law; they know it works and they like it.  The high level of participation by Iowa businesses and Iowa consumers is the key to the program’s success.  Iowa’s deposit law is the second-best performing program in the United States on a per capita basis with an estimated 86 percent of beverage containers being redeemed annually.  Conversely, non-deposit states produce an average 25 percent redemption rate.  This law keeps an estimated 1.65 billion containers out of Iowa’s landfills, ditches, and waters each year.  Why would we want to go backwards?

 

"A Golden Opportunity..." Iowa's Better Bottle Bill

An editorial written by Teresa Kurtz of the Iowa Recycling Association in support of the Better Bottle Bill appeared in the Monday, May 13, 2013 edition of The Daily Iowan.

Key excerpts from the editorial are as follows:

“Looking back over the last 35 years, few can argue about the successes of the Iowa Bottle Bill. Our state became recognized as a worldwide leader in recycling, hundreds of good jobs created, and more than 90 percent of plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans make it back to redemption centers. Countless civic and community organizations, schools, and churches have used this law to make a difference in the lives of those around us. As a result, we are keeping Iowa beautiful, preserving our bountiful natural resources, and guaranteeing generations of Iowans the ability to enjoy our beautiful parks and trails without the blight of unwanted litter.”

“This is not a new issue, but it is an important one. We have a golden opportunity to take something popular that works well and make it even better. By acting on legislation this year to expand Iowa’s container-deposit law, we can help create Iowa jobs, clean up our environment, and make our great state an even better place for generations to come. The time for action is now.”

To read the entire editorial on The Daily Iowan website, visit HERE.

More Attention for the Better Bottle Bill

The “Better Bottle Bill for Iowa” was the focus of a half hour public affairs television segment that aired on Sunday morning, May 12 on KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa - one of the largest television stations in Eastern Iowa.  Marc Beltrame of the BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, which is lobbying on behalf of its client to modernize Iowa’s popular and successful bottle bill, and Sheri Cunningham, owner of the can and bottle redemption center in Pella, Iowa, discussed the positive effects that the Iowa Bottle Bill has on Iowa’s economy, environment, and our communities.  Beltrame and Cunningham also explained that if the successful law is modernized, hundreds of millions of new containers would be kept out of ditches, waterways, and landfills, hundreds of new Iowa jobs would be created and countless civic and charitable organizations would have access to additional resources for community betterment programs.  A representative of the Iowa Grocers Association, which, along with their affiliate members, has doled out over $1 million dollars in campaign contributions over the past decade in an effort to kill the bottle bill, was invited to participate but was a no-show for the taping.

Sweet, Hands-on Learning at the Iowa Capitol

Cupcake and the Capitol.jpg

On Monday, April 15, Iowa Better Bottle Supporters from across the state converged on the Iowa Capitol for a fun, interactive event in support of a more modernized law that includes deposits on water bottles and other popularly consumed non-carbonated beverages. That morning, all 150 legislators, legislative staff and members of Governor Branstad’s office received plastic bottles that included an important message (message in a bottle) in support of the Better Bottle Bill, also known as SSB1247.

From 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., everyone that received a bottle was able visit the Capitol rotunda, learn about the Better Bottle Bill and redeem their bottle for a cupcake that included an edible “Better Bottle Bill” logo.  The cupcakes were made by Live Love Bake, a small business located in Grimes, Iowa. Several media outlets were present as Better Bottle Bill volunteers spoke with legislators and staff about the importance of modernizing Iowa’s successful and popular container deposit law.

Attend a legislative forum and voice your support

 Iowa Capitol - Iowa Bottle Bill

Contacting your legislator in person and expressing support for Iowa's Bottle Bill is not only effective, but is possible during legislative forums.  An informal list of forums across the State of Iowa for April 6-8, 2013 follows:

Representative Scott Ourth 
Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM 
LOCATION: Simpson College, Kent Campus Center 
701 North Street, Indianola, IA 
FORUM SPONSOR: Warren County Economic Development 
CONTACT: Hollie Askey / haskey@wcedc.com OR 515-961-1067 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Community Center 
207 E 1st Street, Kingsley, Iowa 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
LOCATION: City Hall 
101 E. Maple, Lawton, Iowa 

Senator Randy Feenstra 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 12:00 PM 
LOCATION: Hawarden City Office 
1150 Central Avenue, Hawarden, Iowa 

Senator Rich Taylor 
Representative Jerry Kearns 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 12:00 PM 
LOCATION: Hawkeye Restaurant 
105 N. Park Drive, Keokuk, Iowa 
FORUM SPONSOR: Keokuk Legislative Forum 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM 
LOCATION: Climbing Hill Barn 
77 Deer Run Trail, Climbing Hill, Iowa 

Representative Greg Heartsill 
DATE: Friday, April 5, 2013 
TIME: 2:00 PM 
LOCATION: Melcher-Dallas City Hall 
305 'D' Main Street, Melcher-Dallas, Iowa 

Representative Clel Baudler 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 8:00 AM 
LOCATION: Guthrie Center Public Library 
400 Grand Street, Guthrie Center, Iowa 

Representative Mark Costello 
Senator Joni Ernst 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 8:00 AM 
LOCATION: YMCA 
101 E. Cherry Street, Red Oak, Iowa 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM 
LOCATION: Remsen Town Hall 
Library, 211 Fulton Street, Remsen, Iowa 

Representative Dave Maxwell 
Senator Tim Kapucian 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM 
LOCATION: TBD 
Grinnell, Iowa 

Senator Ken Rozenboom 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 
LOCATION: TBD 
Ottumwa, Iowa 

Senator Jack Whitver 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM 
LOCATION: Neveln Center 
306 SW School Street, Ankeny, Iowa 

Senator Chris Brase 
Senator Tom Courtney 
Representative Tom Sands 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM 
LOCATION: Muscatine Community College 
152 Colorado Street, Muscatine, Iowa 
FORUM SPONSOR: Muscatine County Legislative Forum 

Senator Mike Gronstal 
Representative Mary Ann Hanusa 
Representative Mark Brandenburg 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM 
LOCATION: Wilson Middle School Auditorium 
715 N. 21st Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa 
FORUM SPONSOR: Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce 

Representative Megan Hess 
Senator David Johnson 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM 
LOCATION: City Hall 
418 2nd Avenue W., Spencer, Iowa 

Representative Todd Prichard 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:00 AM 
LOCATION: Chickasaw County Farm Bureau 
808 S. Main Street, New Hampton, Iowa 

Senator Tod Bowman 
Representative Chuck Isenhart 
Senator Pam Jochum 
Representative Pat Murphy 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:30 AM 
LOCATION: Diamond Jo Casino, Harbor Room 
301 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa 

Representative Mary Gaskill 
Representative Curt Hanson 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:30 Am 
LOCATION: Bridge View Center 
102 Church Street, Ottumwa, Iowa 

Representative Brian Moore 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:30 AM 
LOCATION: Dubuque Cracker Barrell 
Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque, Iowa 
FORUM SPONSOR: AFL-CIO 

Representative Joe Riding 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:30 AM 
LOCATION: Altoona Library 
700 8th Street SW, Altoona, Iowa 

Senator Charles Schneider 
Representative Rob Taylor 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Waukee City Council Chambers 
230 W. Hickman Road, Waukee, Iowa 

Representative Clel Baudler 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 10:00 AM 
LOCATION: Nodaway Diner 
502 SE Kent Street, Greenfield, Iowa 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie 
108 Central Avenue NE, LeMars, Iowa 

Senator Brad Zaun 
Representative Jake Highfill 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Rich's Brew 
5800 Merle Hay Road, Suite 9, Johnston, Iowa 

Representative Matt Windschitl 
Senator Nancy Boettger 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 10:00 AM 
LOCATION: Onawa Public Library 
707 Iowa Avenue, Onawa, Iowa 

Representative Dave Maxwell 
Senator Tim Kapucian 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Iowa County Farm Bureau Office 
212 W. State Street, Williamsburg, Iowa 

Senator Thomas Courtney 
Representative Tom Sands 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM 
LOCATION: Wapello Community Room 
306 N. 2nd Street, Wapello, Iowa 

Representative Megan Hess 
Representative Jeff Smith 
Senator David Johnson 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
 TIME: 11:00 AM 
LOCATION: Maritime Museum 
243 Broadway Street, Arnolds Park, Iowa 

Representative Chuck Soderberg 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
LOCATION: Akron Library 
350 Reed Street, Akron, Iowa 

Senator Brad Zaun 
Representative Jake Highfill 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
LOCATION: Gortz Haus 
408 East 1st Street, Grimes, Iowa 

Representative Mark Brandenburg 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 
LOCATION: Carter Lake Senior Center 
626 Locust Street, Carter Lake, Iowa 

Senator Chris Brase 
DATE: Saturday, April 6, 2013 
TIME: 1:00 PM 
LOCATION: TBD 
Blue Grass, Iowa 

Representative Marti Anderson 
DATE: Monday, April 8, 2013 
TIME: 7:30 AM - 10:00 AM 
LOCATION: Grounds for Celebration 
2709 Beaver Avenue, Beaverdale, Iowa 

A packed Senate subcommittee!

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A photo taken during this morning's Better Bottle Bill subcommittee meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.  The crowd, filled with countless Bottle Bill supporters, small business owners, recycling advocates, and Iowans from across the State, was so large that the subcommittee meeting was moved to accomodate everyone.  Stay tuned for an updated on the outcome of this important subcommittee meeting!  

Yet another article in support of modernizing Iowa's successful Bottle Bill!

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Over the past week and across the State of Iowa, numerous articles have reported on the overwhelming support that exists to modernize Iowa's popular and successful Bottle Bill.  The latest article, which supports modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill, comes to us from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier and can be read in full by clicking below.

A Better Bottle Bill Launches

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A broad and growing group of recycling advocates, business owners, elected officials, redemption center operators, environmental organizations and sportsmen groups joined together with state legislators at the Iowa Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 to launch efforts to modernize Iowa’s popular and successful five cent beverage container redemption law.

Nearly 35 years ago, the Legislature passed and Governor Robert D. Ray signed the deposit law on cans and bottles containing carbonated and alcoholic beverages. The law has since made Iowa a nationally renowned leader in recycling, saved tens of millions of containers from entering our landfills, waterways and ditches and helped create hundreds of good Iowa jobs. A recent poll conducted by J. Ann Selzer and Co. for the Des Moines Register shows that an overwhelming 64 percent of Iowans support modernizing the popular and successful law.

Yet, in the years since the law was enacted, our technology has improved and our lifestyles have evolved. Water, sports drinks and other non-carbonated beverages are now on the market, yet their containers do not include the nickel deposit. As a result, those bottles are now entering our landfills, ditches and waterways at nearly three times the rate of their bottle bill counterparts and we are losing out on precious jobs, valuable container materials and a more pristine environment.

“Modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill will have a direct and positive impact on Iowa’s economy by not only preserving hundreds of Iowa jobs, but by also adding important new jobs to Iowa's economy,” said Senator Robert Dvorsky (D-Coralville), the lead sponsor of the ‘Iowa Better Bottle Bill’ in the Iowa Senate and the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “By acting on this legislation to include water and other non-carbonated beverage containers to the law this year we can not only help create good Iowa jobs but we can take important and necessary steps to clean up our environment and make our great state an even better place for generations to come.”

According to Mick Barry, the President of M2B2 LLC and a longtime Iowa recycling executive and advocate, a better bottle bill will help small businesses grow and will also provide new ways for community organizations to make a difference.

“Countless civic and community organizations, schools, charities and churches have used the bottle bill to raise money to make a difference in the lives of those around us,” said Barry. “Governor Robert Ray and then-State Representative Terry Branstad had a vision 35 years ago to make this the premier recycling program and the cornerstone of Iowa's highly successful integrated multi-faceted recycling processes that has become a model for states across the nation and internationally. Iowans are familiar with this law, they know it works and they like it. It’s good for our communities, it’s good for our environment, it’s good for our economy and the system is already in place to handle the new containers. It just makes sense.”

Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, who is currently working on a new study regarding the bottle bill, noted in a 2011 study that over 500 million containers that Iowan's currently use and that now largely end up in landfills would be recovered by modernizing the Iowa Bottle Bill. The report also notes that modernization would simultaneously help in creating of over 300 new Iowa jobs while protecting the more than 870 jobs that already exist today.  Redemption points, such as retailers and local redemption centers, will earn better compensation, at no cost to consumers.

A list of notable groups and organizations that are part of the constantly growing Iowa Better Bottle Bill group include the Iowa Recycling Association, Saint-Gobain Containers (Verallia North America), Iowa Environmental Council, Container Recycling Institute, Iowa Rivers Revival, Glass Packaging Institute, Iowa Association of Counties (ISAC), Trees Forever, Redemption Centers of Iowa, Iowa Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), Iowa Farmers Union, University of Iowa ECO Hawk, 1000 Friends of Iowa, Izaak Walton League of Linn County, Iowa Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Iowa Ground Water Association, League of Women Voters of Iowa, Raccoon River Watershed Association, Iowa Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and countless other individuals, elected officials, and civic organizations.

For more information, including the latest updates on the Iowa Better Bottle Bill, visit www.IowaBottleBill.com

Iowans Overwhelmingly Favor a Better Bottle Bill

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According to the Des Moines Register's February 17, 2013 front-page article, an overwhelming majority (64%) of Iowan's support modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverages such as water and sports drinks:

Nearly two out of every three people — or 64 percent — surveyed in The Des Moines Register’s latest Iowa Poll favor expanding the state’s so-called bottle bill to require deposits on containers other than alcoholic beverages and carbonated soft drinks.

Notably, according to the Des Moines Register, "...support runs strong across the political spectrum."  To read the full article, click the link below.

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