SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN IOWA’S BOTTLE BILL
The Association continues its support of Iowa’s highly successful bottle and can deposit law. The program consistently reduces litter in both rural and urban areas and has led to a 71% recycling rate for cans and bottles. Although that’s more than 2.5 times the recycling rate of states without a Bottle Bill (29%), Iowa’s recycling rate is declining rapidly.
An increase in the handling fee is the first step to reverse this trend. Iowa’s 1¢ handling fee has remained unchanged since 1979 and is the lowest among all container-deposit states. As costs have risen, two-thirds of Iowa’s redemption centers have closed. By increasing the handling fee, more redemption centers will open … creating new jobs, relieving pressure on grocery stores as a point of redemption and making recycling more convenient across the state.
The next step: Include water & non-carbonated drink containers. Bottled water and sports drinks were not available in 1979 when Iowa’s Bottle Bill was created. They now make up over half of the state’s beverage purchases, and are landfilled at twice the rate of redeemable containers. By expanding the Bottle Bill to include water and sports drinks, Iowans will be encouraged to return these containers.
CULTIVATE MARKETS FOR WASTE TIRES
The proper management, reuse, recycling or disposal of waste tires is essential to environmental and public health. Iowans currently generate 3 million waste tires each year. As the cost of tire recycling rises, it is essential that adequate markets are available for this raw material. The Association supports the establishment of a task force to examine the development of markets for waste tires.
PROMOTE PROPER PLASTIC BAG DISPOSAL
The proper disposal of plastic grocery bags is not simple. These bags cannot be recycled in municipal single-stream, curbside-recycling programs. The Association urges the establishment of public/private partnerships to both better educate the public on proper plastic bag recycling and to provide opportunities for the proper collection and recycling of this consumer staple.