Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do You Recycle?

Today's post isn't anything crafty (because that seems to be a thing of the past in my house right now!) but just something I've been thinking about after a weekend trip to visit the in-laws. This is something that drives me CRAZY! A dirty little secret...oh no! They don't recycle! GASP! There, I said it. It is just shocking to our family, since half our garage is full of plastic, cardboard, bottles, cans, etc.

I think part of the problem is with the state we visited... 

(Sorry, just had to throw that in!) :)

In Nebraska (and 40 other states!) there is no bottle bill. I did a little research and was surprised to learn that Iowa is one of only 10 states with a bottle bill! For those not familiar with it, in Iowa we are charged an additional 5 cents for most canned or bottled beverages. Some states charge up to 15 cents per bottle.

When you take empty cans or bottles back to a grocery store or redemption center, you get your 5 cents back. Pretty simple. It has been this way for ages, so people don't really complain about it. It encourages recycling, and as a result, you don't see a lot of bottles or cans on the side of the road around here.

But in NEBRASKA on the other hand, there is no bottle bill.

We drove home more than 400 miles with a bag full of empty water & Gatorade bottles just so they wouldn't end up in the garbage. Somehow that made me feel better, even though I know the in-laws and their neighbors are throwing away that much EVERY DAY and I can't stop them.  Aaaaagh!

The Iowa bottle bill has been in effect since 1978 and has a redemption rate of 86%.  That's even better than the voter turnout rate in most elections! :) And currently there is a movement in Iowa to expand the law to include things like bottled water, Gatorade, tea, etc. which aren't currently covered.

So how about it, bottle bill or not, do you recycle? Take my poll or leave a comment!

If you are a geek like me and interested in more info on this topic, visit


  1. Ah, a kindred spirit & a girl after my own heart. We don't get $ for our plastic bottles here, but we do have a recycling program for them. After watching a documentary about bottled water & the huge masses of plastic floating on the oceans, I started carrying my bottles around until I could put them in the recycling bin at home! :D Thank you for leaving a sweet comment on my blog, BTW.

    Warmly, Michelle

  2. The hubby is an only when it's convenient recycler, drives me NUTS. I find myself picking things out of the trash to recycle. Just call me John.