Big changes are coming to Iowa’s Bottle Bill.
Governor Reynolds has approved a bill that will soon let most grocery stores and other retailers opt out of accepting empty bottles and cans and paying back the nickel deposits. The 44 year old Bottle Bill was created as a way to reduce litter and encourage consumers to recycle drink containers.
Grocers have complained about being forced to allow filthy empties into their stores. There are only five dozen redemption centers left, as the handling fee for recycling has been stuck at a penny per container. The bill Reynolds signed into law triples that handling fee and advocates say that will spur more people to open redemption centers.
Critics say many Iowans will lose the convenience of returning empties as hundreds of retailers opt out of the program, meaning drink containers will wind up as litter or trash in the landfill.
The governor’s staff announced late Friday that Reynolds had approved a two-year moratorium on new state casino licenses. It’s a set back for developers and city officials who’d been planning to seek a license for a Cedar Rapids casino complex. Reynolds also gave the go-ahead for a new January season for deer hunting, in areas overrun with deer, and hunters would be able to use AR-15 style rifles during that season.