If an increase doesn't happen soon, Tenco's can redemption center could close, he said, and then southeast Iowans would have very few options to redeem their cans.
As a whole, Tenco is not in danger of closing, he said, but the can redemption center is.
"If we keep losing money I would think it's something ... our board would have to look at, is closing the can center," he said. "If we can help support the idea of an additional penny, hopefully other centers could open. We welcome competition. It would solve everyone's problem."
The center was taking in more than double the number of cans its clients could sort, therefore it was paying out twice the amount its checkbook could handle.
"That's another issue: cash flow," he said. "Cash was going out that we couldn't get back for months on end."
The center's new conveyor system and glass crusher, donated by Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and John Deere Ottumwa Works, will also help streamline operations, Wright said.
"No matter what we do, we can't handle the kind of volume that was coming in," he said. "Now we're able to keep up on a daily basis. And before, our count was an estimate; now our count is accurate."
Iowa DNR representatives in charge of can redemption centers could not be reached as of press time Monday.
— To follow reporter Chelsea Davis on Twitter, head to twitter.com/chelsealeedavis.
Tenco's new can redemption rules and new hours: -- All cans and bottles will be counted. -- No crushed cans will be accepted. -- Drop-offs and fundraisers will need to be pre-approved by calling 641-814-5676. -- Only 500 cans/bottles per person per day will be accepted. -- Cans mixed with glass will not be accepted. -- Any cans/bottles that are not accepted will be returned to the customer or can be left at Tenco for disposal, but the customer will not be paid for them. Tenco hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday Closed Sundays and Mondays