The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

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
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Grass photo -L -T Is your grass too tall? OTTUMWA — Do you let your grass grow to 12 inches before it's mowed? Do you park a vehicle in your front yard on the grass? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you could be violating the Make Ottumwa Shine Committee’s proposed amendment

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 OTT hottest day map Heat arrives, but won't linger OTTUMWA — As hot as Monday and Tuesday seem, it’s not really a surprise. This is July, after all. A heat advisory went into effect at noon Monday and will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Forecasters think a front Tuesday night will bring much

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Witnesses: No tension between couple DAVENPORT — Two people who saw a murdered Wapello County woman with her husband the day before she died say they saw nothing unusual about the couple’s behavior. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of first-degre

    July 21, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook