The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

July 9, 2013

Another penny per pop?

OTTUMWA — We cannot allow the temporary closure of Tenco's can redemption center to become a permanent disappointment, said the agency director.

"If we don't get some help from the state in regulations or rule changes, allowing us to earn two cents a can [instead of one cent], I cannot see Tenco being able to keep the redemption center open in the long term," said Ben Wright, Tenco's executive director.

Right now, the redemption center has stopped accepting cans so they could both install some new equipment donated by John Deere Ottumwa Works and catch up on the mountain of cans piling up at Tenco.

Tenco, operated as a safe working environment for individuals with disabilities, has been taking in more than double the cans and bottles they took in two years ago. Because they can "only" process 50,000 containers per day, they have built up a pile of more than a million cans.

The numbers have doubled because when it comes to bulk recycling for cash, Tenco is one of the only places in the entire southeast Iowa region. Wright said that's because with a payment of one-cent per can, other redemption centers couldn't pay their employees or their rent, never mind make a profit. For a while, the nonprofit Tenco Industries was able to survive, but even without needing to make a profit, they are not breaking even. One penny is how much centers were making 23 years ago.

"I don't know any business that can go 23 years without an increase in prices," said Wright. "We maintain a container outside our building for donations. Without the donations of cans from people who don't request the deposit money, we'd be closed."

In other words, he said, it costs more to run the business than the operation brings in.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National