Cashing in on Cans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cashing in on Cans

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by Danielle Wagner

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) Every nickel counts in today's economy. With that attitude, more and more people could be taking advantage of Iowa's Bottle Bill.

To encourage recycling, the bottle bill gives you five cents for every can or bottle you turn in.

Metro Area Redemption owner Chet Hay says spring and summer are the center's busiest times.

He can't say for sure if more people are redeeming cans because of the economy, but he said the center sees new people everyday and he thinks more people will start cashing in their cans.

In an average week during spring and summer, Metro Area Redemption counts and sorts a half million cans and bottles.

The bottles and cans come in from businesses and consumers.

"I save them up for about a month and come here every month," said Brenda Gerk of Cedar Falls. 

Brenda Gerk said each can is five cents in her pocket.

"I believe it's not something that needs to be thrown away and yeah, that five extra cents coming back is pretty nice. Save it up for rainy days," she said.

Gerk said she's noticed more people cashing in lately.

"I see it's busier when I do come in. people have stacks and stacks, not just a couple bags anymore," said Gerk.

Metro Area Redemption owner Chet Hay can't say why each person redeems cans or bottles... but he believes the economy is a reason for some people.

"They're going to see a can lying on the ground, and they're going to pick it up and that's a free nickel. Every penny counts," said Hay.

Hay said the pop and beer distributors he works with say business is good. Good sales for them means good business for his redemption center.

Many organizations like the Boy Scouts use can and bottle redemptions to raise money. Some towns put on summer fireworks shows, as well, with redemption money.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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