DNR taking comments on rules for updated bottle bill

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is now taking public comments as it prepares the rules for the revised bottle bill.

The bill was created 44 years ago and after much debate through the years was changed in the last legislative session. The DNR’s Aime Davidson leads the Land Quality Bureau, an says they are not looking for ways to change the law, just input on the rules to implement it.

“Our rules would need to be in compliance with the law. We can only work within the authorization that the law gives us,” Davidson says. “So, it would be looking at the law and then looking at the rules and seeing if they aligned, and if things make sense.”

She says you can make your comments online. “If you go to the DNR website, and the easiest way to get to it in the search bar is just search bottle bill and it will pull up the beverage containers control law web page. And it’s pretty much right at the top of the page, titled proposed rule revisions,” Davidson says. You can also email comments at: [email protected]

The input is part of the rulemaking process leading up to the implementation of the new law. “DNR will accept written comments during this informal period until September 21st, and then there’s a formal rulemaking process that includes going to the Environmental Protection Commission, the administrative rules review committee, with the goal that the rules are final by January 1st,” she says.

The changes in the bill will let most grocery stores and other retailers opt out of accepting empty bottles and cans and paying back the nickel deposits. The original Bottle Bill was created as a way to reduce litter and encourage consumers to recycle drink containers.