Local supermarkets OK on bottle returns

Monday, January 10, 2005

Neither Fareway nor Hy-Vee in Storm Lake will be affected by a lawsuit the Iowa attorney general's office Thursday threatened against Fareway Stores Inc.

Stores that sell beverages in returnable containers must either redeem deposits on those containers or provide an alternative redemption center approved by the state. The alternative center must be within a mile of the store and be open 20 hours a week, including four hours on weekends or after 6 p.m.

As of today, that state-approved alternative redemption center is Genesis Development on North Lake Avenue in Storm Lake.

Genesis, which began taking containers from Fareway several weeks ago, also began taking containers for Hy-Vee. That wasn't much of a change, since Hy-Vee already was bringing almost a semi load a week to Genesis for sorting.

Genesis Administrator Cindy Wiemold said starting this Saturday Genesis will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to redeem containers, making it fit all the criteria for a state-approved redemption center. Wiemold said Genesis received approval as a redemption center from the Department of Natural Resources last month.

"That's to do with the fact that we are the designated redemption center for Hy-Vee and Fareway in this town," Wiemold said. "We tried to be very proactive with it."

Wiemold said regulations are nothing new to Genesis. "There's all kinds of regulatory agencies that we have to deal with," Wiemold said. "I suspect we will have more business coming to our customer service area."

One benefit Wiemold cited was on-site bottle inspection.

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