The new “co-leader” of the Iowa Senate says he’d prefer to recycle his cans and bottles at the curb. But Senator Michael Gronstal, a democrat from Council Bluffs, says it’s difficult to imagine the legislature will change the state’s “bottle bill” which places a nickle deposit on pop bottles and cans. “Effectively in the legislature there’s been a — I don’t know what to call it — a cease fire or a truce,” Gronstal says. “There are certainly a significant number of people that would like to see it expanded and there are also groups that would like to see it changed and maybe done away with.” Grocers have been complaining about being forced to accept bottles and cans that have the five-cent deposit. Some grocery stores have quit accepting cans and bottles, so customers must use redemption centers or other grocery stores to get back their nickle deposit money. Gronstal says there are a few variables that may prompt the legislature to consider changes. For example, there will be XX new members in the Hosue and Senate when the legislature convenes in January.”There’s some new players here and there’s some new turn of events in terns of the marketplace. Some grocery stores no longer taking them, so I think that will get some study and some discussion, but my sense is it’s probably not going to change much,” Gronstal says. Gronstal would prefer to put all his bottles and cans in recycling bins and get them picked up from the curb outside his home. Gronstal says one of the challenges for those who run community recycling programs is that aluminum is the most valuable recyclable, and the “bottle bill” takes valuable pop and beer cans out of the waste stream. The top republican in the Iowa House — Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City — also favors geting rid of the nickle deposit law on cans and bottles. But Rants agrees with Gronstal that changes probably won’t be made by the 2005 Iowa Legislature.
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