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Some thoughts about recycling bottles in Iowa

When I was a child, just like today there was a 5 cent deposit on all glass bottles, including soda and milk jugs. There was also a $1 deposit on the carton/case that the bottles came in. This deposit was paid to the bottler to cover the cost of replacing any broken or non-returned bottle or carton. Again, it was a deposit not a cost or tax. Just like when you deposit money in the bank it was there for you whenever you wanted or needed the money.

Iowa’s Bottle deposit works on the same premise, except that it is not a replacement; it encourages recycling and reduction of litter on our roads and landfills. In states like Iowa who have deposit laws 80 to 90 percent of the bottles get returned for the money.

For those who choose to not return the bottles or cans, it is a personal choice to not redeem their money either out of inconvenience or a perceived low value. Again it is a personal choice. For all the bottles and cans that get thrown out in the trash or on roadsides, there are people out every day cleaning our streets and byways at no cost to the taxpayer. It provides a public service to those that are ambitious or down and out.

The 40-year-old Iowa bottle deposit has not been indexed for inflation. For the deposit system to continue working, there needs to be a financial incentive for redemption centers to hire personnel to collect those bottles and cans and redeem the deposit. The one cent per item is not enough to justify the investment into these collection centers.

Simply doubling the deposit and increasing the redemption centers cut to 2 to 3 cents per item would make it affordable to the grocers and redemption centers to continue the redemption process.

If you deposit a little bit more when you go to the store, your deposit savings will grow faster, and if you chose to just throw it away, it will give the homeless person a couple more cents for their effort. After all, it will continue to reduce litter and help those most needy.

Ray Stevens, Council Bluffs


McCain deserves respect

In 1944, I was born in New York City, the first and only child of German immigrants and thanks to geographical location, a bonafide American citizen. My mother often referred to my birth as the first time she felt truly “American” and though she had yet to become a citizen by law at that moment, within her and my father beat the hearts of true patriots of this country.

I see that sense of pride in and inherent defense of these United States represented nowhere more than in the culmination of the life and work of the late Sen. John McCain. He volunteered first as a soldier, then sacrificed as a prisoner of war for five long years and, for the remainder of his life, served faithfully as a public servant.

Setting political views aside, I suspect most Americans have respect for a man who gave that much of himself to his country.

Unfortunately the man currently occupying the office of the President is not among that group. Instead, Donald Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” And more recently, “I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I didn’t get a ‘thank you.’”

Does Mr. Trump expect the ‘thank you’ from the dead man or his grieving family? To this, I echo the words Joseph N. Welch said to Senator McCarthy in 1954 and I ask, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Fred Offermann, Council Bluffs

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