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Carrie La Seur

Feb 18, 2008, 12:57:52 PM2/18/08
Hello all,

One high priority identified across the state in our Environmental Caucuses is continuation and expansion of Iowa's bottle recycling bill.  If reducing, reusing and recycling to protect our natural resources for future generations is an issue close to your heart, now is the time to speak out in support of a bill to strengthen the program.  See below.

Thank you for everything you do!

Carrie La Seur
Plains Justice

Action Alert! 
Governor Culver's bottle bill legislation will be introduced this week. It is facing stiff, well-organized opposition from private interests. Their efforts may kill this critically important legislation if we don't take action. A rally will be held at the Capitol as a show of support for the legislation.  It's a critical time and we must show legislators there is support for strengthening the Bottle Bill. Please make every effort to attend, bring friends and car pool.  We will provide the date and time for the rally as soon as it is finalized.  

Governor Culver is proposing expanding the bottle bill to include water, tea and sports drinks. He is advocating for a nickel deposit and for returning the full deposit to the customer when containers are redeemed. Finally, the Governor is proposing an increase for the redemption centers and retailers for sorting the containers.  Currently, they are receiving a penny per container and haven't had an increase since 1979.  
Whether you are able to attend the rally or not, contact your legislators and the leadership, urge support of the Governor's legislation that will strengthen the bottle bill.
Pat Murphy, Speaker of the House
Jack Kibbie, President of the Senate
Representative Kevin Mc Carthy, Majority Leader
Senator Mike Gronstal, Majority Leader
Talking Points
Iowans redeem 86% of containers sold, or 1.65 billion containers. There are an estimated 235 million non-deposit containers consumed in Iowa each year. By including these containers with a deposit there will be less litter in our ditches and landfills. Valuable waste can be recycled; aluminum cans are recycled and back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.
Redemption centers or retailers are paid a penny to sort redeemed containers before they are picked up by the distributor, this is known as the handling fee. They have not had a pay increase since 1979, when the bill became law. They must pay employees minimum wage, which has increased from $2.79 in 1979 to $7.25 in 2008.  Many redemption centers have closed due to the low payment for sorting containers.
Curbside recycling is not an alternative to the Bottle Bill. Curbside recycling is not available universally in Iowa. It requires tax revenue to finance. Curbside recycling bins are not available away from home, where many beverages are consumed. Curbside recycling programs and the container deposit law exist together to strengthen recycling efforts.
Contact your state legislators and urge them to support strengthening the Bottle Bill. Our representatives need to know this effort has grassroots support. Watch your inbox for details about the rally.

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