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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Where can I go to redeem my cans and bottles?"

Posted: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 8:09 AM

In the wake of the announcement that the Martin Redemption Center on the east end of Water Street plans to shut down its can and bottle redemption program by the end of the year, a number of readers have e-mailed Mr. Answer Person, wondering where they can go to redeem beverage bottles and cans.  Mr. Answer Person replies:

"It is not as widely known as perhaps it should be, perhaps, but Iowa law requires any business that sells beverages in cans and bottles to agree to accept those cans and bottles for redemption.

That means if you buy pop or beer at Quillins, Fareway, Wal-Mart or any convenience store or liquor store, they MUST accept those bottles and cans back again.

The Martin Redemption Center will be open a little bit longer in Decorah and Calmar Can & Beverage in Calmar remains open for taking your cans and bottles for redemption. 

The redemption of cans and bottles is a dirty, ugly business that doesn't pay much money, which is why Martin's is closing down the redemption side of its business by the end of the year.  So other businesses aren't that excited about accepting cans and bottles.  They don't have a choice!  If they sell it, they must redeem it.

Now, Iowa law gives the retailers the right to put "reasonable" restrictions on how and when they'll accept the returns, but the secret to redeeming cans and bottles in Decorah in the future is to take them back to where you bought them!

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