Terese Grant and Linda Schreiber co-authored this commentary. Bills pending in the Iowa House and Senate would allow retailers to stop accepting recyclable containers.
Droppett CEO and President Doug Webb painted a rosy picture of his company’s recycling system in a January guest editorial for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Droppett is owned by CRINC, which is owned by Doll Distributors (Budweiser) and Iowa Beverage Systems (Miller/Coors).
Recycling declined dramatically during the global COVID-19 pandemic after Governor Kim Reynolds gave retailers the option to suspend redemption.
The two largest retailers took different paths. Fareway discontinued redemption and does not accept containers; it does have agreements with redemption centers. Hy-Vee continued redemption at locations equipped with reverse vending machines and partnered with nearby redemption centers.
If bottle and can redemption is limited to Droppett systems only, recycling may decline further, producing more unclaimed money for distributors (already estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars).Continue Reading...