Iowa to expand bottle bill?

Iowa to expand bottle bill?

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

In Iowa, recycling advocates are gearing up to push for an expansion of the state's bottle bill.

Iowa's beverage container deposit redemption program was enacted in May 1979 and encompasses beer and soft drink containers, as well as wine and liquor bottles. Now, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the Iowa Recycling Association will seek to convince lawmakers to put the 5-cent deposit on bottled water, tea, sports drinks and other non-carbonated beverages, similar to what Oregon did in 2011. The association is also hoping to increase the penny handling fee that goes to redemption centers to help them better cover the costs of labor, equipment and fuel.

The association is arguing that by expanding the bottle bill the state will see a reduction of litter in addition to economic benefits.

"Just by expanding to include the water bottles and other non-carbonated beverages, it would increase by another 330 jobs," Teresa Kurtz, executive director of the Iowa Recycling Association, told the paper. "It's a job creator."

The paper also mentions a study conducted at the Iowa City Landfill that found that 21 percent of waste that comes into the local landfill is plastic. The study also found that redeemable containers made up less than 1 percent of waste sent to the landfill.

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