Future of bottle bill being discussed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Future of bottle bill being discussed

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A discussion over the future of the state's bottle deposit law took place at the annual Iowa Recycling & Solid Waste Management conference this afternoon. 

Right now Iowans pay a 5 cent deposit per can or bottle and are refunded when they are returned to the store. 

The state's grocery agency wants to replace the current legislation with a statewide recycling program. 

Those in favor of the deposit law worry if it gets replaced litter could become a bigger issue. 

The bottle bill started nearly 40 years ago and some believe it's time for it to go. 

"Recycling and options, options in Iowa have grown exponentially," says Michelle Hurd, President of the Iowa Grocery Association. 

Instead Hurd believes House File 575 should take it's place, favoring a recycling program. 

"This legislation is a work in progress but we do believe that it's a great starting point for discussion," she told the crowd. 

Others believe the current bottle bill should remain but be updated. 

"Obviously the law needs updating it is one of the few in the country and indeed one of the few in the world that has stuck with that 5 cent deposit for so long and only a 1 cent handling fee," says Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute.

Some of the potential updates Collins talked about included raising the deposit to 10 cents and adding water bottles.

One business owner told KWWL if the bottle bill goes away so will his company.  

"It would put us out of business you know our whole focus is around those containers and the handling of those for the retailers and distributors," says Troy Willard, Owner of the Can Shed. 

Today's discussion was one of the many steps to the changes that may be coming whether it's House File 575 or modernizing the current bottle bill. 

"I hope that this has opened the discussion, maybe we can write a good bill that's got a win win for everybody," says Representative Art Staed. 

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