MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you take a close look at your cans and plastic bottles, you will notice that some states offer money back when recyclables are returned to a store or collection location.

So, why is Minnesota not one of those states?

“We have made it very convenient for people, residents in Minnesota, to recycle,” Recycling Association of Minnesota’s Brita Sailer said.

She says she often gets asked why Minnesota does not pass a bottle bill that would offer deposits on beverage containers like other states.

Our neighbors to the south in Iowa offer 5 cents for a can or bottle. Michigan offers 10 cents.

“It means you the resident now have the responsibility of getting that material out of your garage or under the kitchen sink and bringing it in,” Sailer said.

People in Iowa and Michigan have to collect their bottles and cans and bring them to a store or a collection location. In the Twin Cities, Sailer says we pay for convenience.

Single-sort recycling allows people to throw their recyclables in one bin, which is picked up just outside your front door.

Sailer says there is evidence in other states that more people recycle when a bottle bill is approved. As a former Minnesota legislator, she has seen bottle bills presented, but never passed.

“If people in Minnesota really wanted to have a bottle bill and really worked for it, you know, we would get one,” she said.

Ten states and Guam currently have a deposit program. Sailer says that while it helps with bottles and cans, it does not include other recyclables, like plastic and cardboard.

In the states where consumers receive money on cans or bottles recycled, they are receiving the fee they paid when they purchased the cans or bottles.

John Lauritsen

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