Iowa grocery store executives gave Governor Culver a cool reception Wednesday as Culver spoke with the group about his drive to expand the number of drink containers which are subject to the state’s bottle deposit law. Culver wants water bottles as well as containers for tea, lemonade and sports drinks to be charged a deposit, too, in hopes of getting more of those containers recycled.
But Denny Dietrich who owns a grocery store in Mount Vernon says that would be an "insurmountable" pile of new bottles for grocery stores to sort through. Empty cans and bottles must be separated at the store based on size and distributor.
"When you start bringing in 25, 30, 50 other distributors, the sorts are going to go from 20 to 25 to some unknown, ungodly amount and that all involves labor and stuff and costs money," he says. Dietrich describes the separating that goes on behind the scenes at a grocery store as workers sort through empties.
"Let’s just take Coca-Cola. We would have a box for aluminum cans then we’ll have a box for Coca-Cola 20 ounce and a box for Coca-Cola one liters and a box for Coca-Cola two liters because they’re all different sizes and stuff and everything’s returned, by volume, to the distributor," Dietrich says. "Now, that’s just one distributor."