The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 9, 2013

Another penny per pop?

(Continued)

There are several benefits to the center, Wright said. In addition to providing jobs for individuals with disabilities, people who need a few extra dollars to make ends meet often rely on the redemption center. Even with the current temporary closure, people have been unhappy, he said.

Supermarkets are a very different option for those who want to drop off a bag of cans.

"Frankly, grocery stores and convenience stores don't want to take the cans. They want them washed out, in cardboard flats, they don't take in the large quantities, they'd rather the redemption centers do it. If we close, there's no one else but the stores. I'd like to think the stores will be in agreement that redemption centers get to hold onto two cents per can."

The key, Wright believes, is for the public to support a bill requesting that redemption centers get two cents per can, support from local legislators and a grassroots lobbying movement by everybody saying, "Hey, let's make this right."

And if everyone got behind it, he said, even a one-cent increase in cost would be relatively painless.

"If this leads to an increase that was partially absorbed the distributor, partially absorbed by the consumer and partially absorbed by the retailer, I think the impact would be minimal."

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

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