Bottle Bill Resource Guide

2016 Iowa House Study Bill 507

Bill Number and Name Iowa House Study Bill 507 - A study bill to determine if the refund value should be increased
Primary Sponsor Chairperson Cheryll Jones
Beverages Covered Remains unchanged


Died in Committee
2016-02-10 11:30AM; RM 102, Sup. Ct. Consult Environmental Protection
2016-01-26 Subcommittee meeting 4:00PM; House Lounge Environmental Protection
2016-01-20 Environmental Protection: Jones Chair, Lensing, Paustian, Wessel-Kroeschell, and Wills
2016-01-19 Data recorded, in Environmental Protection

Deposits and Fees

• Increases the refund value for beverage containers from 5 cents to 10 cents

Redemption System

• Remains unchanged


• Violators are guilty of a simple misdemeanor



The 2013 Iowa Expansion Bill

Bill Number and Name Senate Study Bill 1247 
Sponsors Appropriations Committee Chairperson Dvorsky
Beverages Covered Expanded to include all nonalcoholic beverages except juice and grade A milk
Containers Covered Excludes HDPE containers and those containing 3 liters or more of noncarbonated beverage.
Handling Fees Increased to 2¢ for plastic containers


The current deposit applies to alcoholic beverages and carbonated soft drinks. This bill would expand the definition of the types of beverages covered under Iowa's deposit system, to include all noncarbonated beverages except juices and grade A milk (notably, this would add bottled water to the deposit system).

However, containers made of HDPE would be excluded, as would large-volume (3 liters and up) containers of nonalcoholic beverages.

The handling fee paid to redemption centers would be increased by one cent – but only for plastic containers – for a total fee of 2¢.

The bill also appropriates 10,000 from the general fund for the purposes of administering the program. This is a one-time appropriation.


March 26, 2013: Introduced

April 2, 2013: In Appropriations for study


The 2011 Iowa bills

This has been quite a year for deposit-related bills in Iowa. Two bills in Iowa this year make a repeal of the deposit system their primary goal (HSB 74 and SF 249). A third bill exempts wine bottles from displaying the refund value, while another changes the refund value.

The Repeal Study Bill

A study bill for reforming recycling in Iowa would repeal the deposit-refund system. According to news sources, this bill died in committee.

Bill Number and Name House Study Bill 74 
Primary Sponsor Steven N. Olson
Reclamation System Repeals the deposit-refund law


This study bill, introduced by the chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, proposes several changes to recycling in Iowa, most importantly repealing Chapter 455C, Code 2011--the Iowa Beverage Container Deposit Law.

Other provisions of the bill include:

  • Bans beverage containers from the landfill.
  • Creates litter cleanup grant fund, funded by appropriation and 50% of all litter cleanup fines.
  • Changes waste reduction goals as described in Section 455B.310, subsection 4, from 50 to 60 percent.
  • Increases statewide waste reduction goals to 50% by 2016 and 60% by 2021

The following lobbyist declaration shows the varying groups supporting and opposed to the bill.

Organizations/ Companies Against -

Organization/ Companies Undecided -

Organizations/ Companies For -

League of Women Voters of IA

Anheuser Busch


IA Rivers Revival

Greater Des Moines Partnership as of

IA Grocery Industry Assn.

IA League of Cities

IA Retail Federation

Casey's General Stores

IA Environmental Health Assn.

Hy-Vee, Inc

Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of IA

IA Attorney General Dept. of Justice

IA Beverage Assn

Kwik Trip, Inc.

IA Chapter of Sierra Club

IA Wholesale Distributors Assn.


IA Farm Bureau Federation

IA Assn of Business and Industry (ABI)


IA Assn of County Conservation Boards

IA Dept of Natural Resources


Metro Waste Authority


IA Environmental Council


IA Recycling Assn


IA Society of Solid Waste Operations (ISOSWO)


IA State Assn of Counties




February 8, 2011 Introduced in Environmental Protection: Paustian Chair,Deyoe, and Wessel-Kroeschell.

February 10, 2011 9:00AM; Rm 102, Supreme Court Consult Rm Environmental Protection.

The Universal Recycling Bill (for Repeal)

Bill Number and Name Senate File 249
Sponsors Jochum
Reclamation System Repeals the deposit system


Similar to HSB74 listed above, SF249 repeals the deposit system, but unlike the House bill, the Senate bill proposes a replacement "Universal Recycling" system much like that which replaced Delaware's deposit system in 2010.

CRI produced a report, "Recycling and Climate Change," to enhance the level of understanding of beverage container recycling in the United States and the State Iowa, and to demonstrate the impact of recycling on emissions reduction and the economy, with the end goal of demonstrating the imporance of Iowa's deposit law. According to news sources, this bill died in committee.

  • Requires all waste management entities to provide single stream recycling to all residential customers and source-separated recycling to all beverage dealers providing on-premises sales.
  • Requires the creation of a recycling system for the commercial sector by 2014.
  • Creates a "universal recycling assistance fund" to help solid waste providers with the startup of the mandated recycling programs
  • Until 2015, beverage dealers pay a 4¢ fee on every beverage container they buy from a distributor; the distributors must pay these fees into the recycling assistance fund.
  • Creates a Recycling public advisory council with representatives from a variety of parties affected by the program to provide ongoing input on the workings of the program.
  • Creates a Litter Cleanup Grant Fund, as in HSB74.
  • Changes waste reduction goals as described in Section 455B.310, subsection 4, from 50 to 60 percent, as in HSB74.


February 17, 2011: Introduced, referred to State Government


The Wine Bill


The entire text of this short bill is copied below.

S.F. 29

Section 1. Section 455C.5, subsection 2, Code 2011, is 1 amended by adding the following new paragraph:

d. The beverage container contains wine as
3 defined in section 123.3.
5 This bill provides that beverage containers containing wine are not required to have the beverage container refund value affixed to the container.


January 13, 2011: Introduced, referred to Natural Resources and Environment.

January 18, 2011: Subcommittee, Dearden, Black, and Hamerlinck.

The Refund Bill

This bill would decrease the refund value for consumers and give the remaining penny to redemption centers.

Bill Number and Name House File 445 
Sponsors Wittneben, Murphy, Steckman, Wolfe, Wessel-Kroeschell, Hunter, Hanson and Thomas
Deposits Still 5¢, only 4¢ refundable
Handling Fees 1¢, retained by redemption center from refund value


This bill allows redemption centers to retain 1¢ of the 5¢ deposit when consumers return containers for a refund. This serves, in effect, to increase the handling fee without further involving distributors.


March 1, 2011: Introduced, referred to Environmental Protection.

The 2009 Iowa Campaign

The 2009 Iowa bottle bill expands the current law to include more beverage types, while narrowing the definitions of accepted containers. The deposit would be increased to 10¢, and several changes would be made regarding who takes responsibility for what.

Bill Number and Name House File 150 
Primary Sponsor Whitaker
Containers Covered Expanded to all ready-to-drink packaged beverages except dairy and raw cider
Beverages Covered Redefines accepted sizes as: at least five and one-half fluid ounces or one hundred sixty-two milliliters but not more than sixty-eight fluid ounces or two liters
Deposits Increased to 10¢ (and immediately passed from dealer to redemption center after a sale)
Handling Fees None. Distributors are removed from the deposit-refund chain.
Other Fees / Taxes None
Reclamation System Return to redemption center
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by redemption center


The chain that describes where the deposit value goes at various points in the distribution/collection cycle is quite complex. A summary at the bottom of HF 150 explains in more detail:

The bill makes significant changes to the way refund values are collected and empty beverage containers are accepted. Currently, distributors collect 5 cents on each container from dealers who in turn charge 5 cents to consumers. Consumers who return the empty beverage containers are refunded thecents by the dealer who returns the empty beverage containers to the distributor and is also refunded the 5 cents. Dealers, however, also receive an amount of 1 cent per container from the distributor, which is commonly referred to as the handling fee. The bill eliminates most of the requirements placed on distributors by the current law. The bill requires dealers to collect the refund values from consumers and then remit the refund value to an approved redemption center. Consumers return the empty beverage containers to the redemption center instead of the dealer and the redemption center pays them the refund value. Distributors no longer have to collect or pay refund values, and they no longer have to accept the empty beverage containers from dealers. Instead, the empty beverage containers will be disposed of by the redemption centers. The bill requires a redemption center to accept all empty beverage containers, but it does not require them to pay the refund value to the consumer if the container does not bear a refund value indication or if the container was purchased out of the state.


January 29, 2009: Introduced, referred to Environmental Protection.

February 2, 2009: Sent to subcommittee


The 2008 Iowa Campaign

Iowa Governor Chet Culver’s proposal to update the deposit law generated a lot of attention and little approval. It included adding non-carbonated beverages and increasing the deposit to ten cents; however, consumers would have only received an 8¢ refund. (1 cent would have gone to redeemers as a handling fee increase, and one to the state for environmental programs.) The governor abandoned the proposal, but there is no shortage of other bottle bills in Iowa.


Research on March 12 revealed three still-living bills regarding beverage container redemption in Iowa.

SF2024: Sponsored by Senator Daryl Beall (Fort Dodge), SF 2024 is the bill preferred by Iowa's redemption centers, which have been pushing hard for a handling fee increase. The bill proposes the following amendments to the Iowa deposit law:

  • Increase the handling fee to 2¢
  • Require dealers to accept returns even if they have an approved redemption center
  • Eliminate the approval of redemption centers by the department
  • Require the department to establish a schedule of civil penalties for violations of the Code chapter or any rules, permits, or orders adopted or issued under it.

HF2277: This house bill, sponsored by Representative Whitaker, is defined as an Act relating to beverage container control by expanding the number of beverage containers covered, eliminating the requirement of distributors to collect and pay refund values, and making conforming changes.

HF2537: Introduced by the Committee on Environmental Protection, HF2537 would expand the beverages covered to essentially all beverages but milk, and increase the handling fee to 2¢.


Jan 22, 2008: SF2024 was referred to a subcommittee of the Natural Resources and Environment committee.

February 29: HF2277 was advanced out of subcommittee for debate in the full House Environmental Protection committee. Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, an Ames Democrat and member of the House committee, says she believes her committee will pass the measure the week of March 3rd. If it does, then it could be up for debate by the entire House.

March 6: HF2537 was introduced and placed on the calendar.


Rose Shepard
Shepards Redemption Center

Iowa Bottle Bill Coalition
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Senator Daryl Beall
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The 2007 Iowa Campaign

The redemption centers began the year with a postcard campaign. The center owners and their customers sent 35,000 postcards to their individual legislators, asking them to support an expansion.

The expansion bill (HF 164) made it through the House subcommittee meeting and the Ways & Means Committee. However, in April, the full house decided there wasn’t enough time to debate the issue, and the bill was shelved.

In July, Jeff Geerts of the DNR held a meeting with the Redemption centers, the Grocers Association, and the distributors, in order to find out what works and what doesn’t work with the Bottle Bill, but conclusive results have not been released.


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