CEDAR FALLS -- The grocers’ lobby is at it again. Almost every year they ask the Legislature to repeal the bottle bill. That hasn’t worked, so now they’re trying to kill it by sneaking in the back door. They’re asking the Department of Natural Resources to change the rules without talking to the legislature.
Currently, grocery stores can refuse your cans if there’s a redemption center within a 10-minute drive. Grocers want the DNR to make it 15 miles. So EVERYONE in Cedar Falls/Waterloo could be forced to visit one or two redemption centers. With such long lines, many may stop redeeming cans— and our bottle bill will start to collapse. For years, Iowa’s bottle bill has helped nonprofits do good work through bottle drives including the Boy Scouts and the Cedar Bend Humane Society. Many nonprofits depend on that income.
Thankfully, environmental group Cleaner Iowa is standing up to Hy-Vee and Fareway, and has filed public comments with the DNR asking them to throw out the grocers’ request. Our deposits fund good work around town—nonprofits shouldn’t have to suffer because big grocery chains want to make a few extra bucks.
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