Redemption centers feeling the pressure from COVID-19

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Back in March, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds suspended Iowa’s bottle bill that required dealers to accept cans and bottles for redemption.

Late last month, the Governor’s proclamation ended but a backlog of empties had already developed.

This left many people with limited options on where to take their cans and bottles and overwhelmed redemption centers that did remain open. Hope Redemption Center being one of them.

The manager said he had to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand after other redemption centers closed.

“We were crazy busy. Between nine and five we had lines wrapped around the building… Even the storage room in the back was getting filled up. We had so much inventory we didn’t even have enough workers,” Marcus Mccorkle said.

He adds the extra business has helped feed and clothe families the Hope Redemption Center works with.

Rodney Terrill said he had to drive 40 miles just to get rid of his recyclable items.

“We’ve finally found a place to bring them now, we usually take our cans to Mapleton at the Fiesta grocery store but since the virus has taken over they’ve discontinued taking them so it’s been an inconvenience now,” Terrill added.

The owner of SCK Can Company said COVID-19 caused him to shut down for the first time in 21 years.

When he re-opened in May, he said the redemption center was overwhelmed.

“First month we were forced to close down Monday and Thursdays because we didn’t have room to put any more cans in the building… The room we’re standing in here was filled with containers, cans that had to get sorted. I’ve never seen that kind of volume the years we’ve been in business,” Steve Rasmussen said.

Laurence’s Redemption Center also feeling the pressure.

“We were so busy that we’d run out of these flats all the time and when we run out of flats and carts we can’t take no more. We have to put the sign up. Closed. Until we get caught up again,” Assistant Manager, Roger Rozell, said.

Rozell said aside from closing early, they’ve also had to bring on additional staff just to keep up.

The can has to have an IA 5c on the top in order for it to be redeemable in Iowa.

If you need to get rid of recyclable items, it’s best to call ahead at any of the redemption centers in Sioux City as they each have different requirements on what they’ll accept.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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