Local News

January 5, 2007

Where <i>can</i> I take my cans?

OSKALOOSA — Beginning Jan. 1, the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee Food Store stopped accepting can, bottle and plastic redemptions, making that ritual a little less convenient.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Web site, “92 percent of beverage containers, or 1.4 billion, are redeemed annually in Iowa.”

Janie Anderson, Hy-Vee assistant manager of store operations, said the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee decided to stop accepting cans, bottles and plastic because of the unsanitary conditions they can sometimes create.

“Because it’s unsanitary to have the cans in here,” she said. “It’s just very disgusting to have that in your grocery store around the food that you buy.”

Anderson said they have received cans and bottles for redemption in the past that contained snakes and bugs.

The Oskaloosa Hy-Vee is doing it now, she said, because the new store manager, Dan Fuller, after talking to corporate headquarters, decided this was the best time.

Hy-Vee has no plans to offer redemption machines, as far as Anderson knows, but she did say the reaction from the public has been mixed.

“Some people understand when you tell them the facts of sanitation and everything,” she said. “There have been a few people upset.”

Anderson said they informed the public prior to Jan. 1 about the decision to stop accepting cans and bottles by advertising in the newspaper and by placing signs about the store.

Despite the decision by Hy-Vee to stop accepting can and bottles for redemption, a representative for one local retailer said they have yet to see an increase in redemptions and do not plan to make any changes with the five can and bottle redemption machines they have.

“As of right now, we don’t plan on getting rid of our can redemption,” Oskaloosa Wal-Mart SuperCenter’s Co-Manager said.

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