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Old 01-14-2014, 02:36 AM
 
17 posts, read 30,540 times
Reputation: 45

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I've done a bit of research, and from what I can tell it is not illegal in Iowa to redeem deposit marked cans and bottles bought in other states. Bring 'em in! In Colorado deposit containers are everywhere. If I had an RV or a trailer I'd stuff it full of cans and bottles and make a bee line for Des Moines. (Could go to Council Bluffs, but I'd figure there would be fewer questions away from the border. Plus it's been a while since I've been back to DM...)

Some states do try to make this practice illegal, particularly California where deposit containers are property of the state, not the beverage distributor.

With recent court decisions going against deposit law states in requiring unique UPC codes for deposit containers and conceivably prohibiting beverage distributors from selling deposit containers in non-deposit states, it looks like the deck is stacked against the deposit law states.

So, I think that beverage manufacturers officially don't care if you bring your deposit containers purchased in non-deposit law states like CO to deposit law states such as IA.

It's possible that you could pay for a tank or two of gas, depending on how much room you have and your vehicle's mpg. And if you're a trucker faced with going deadhead from CO to IA, if you're pulling an enclosed trailer at least, it would definitely pay for your fuel, time and overhead, at least on paper. You would need an organized effort to collect the cans, so on a practical basis that may not be likely.

This could be an interesting angle to promote Iowa tourism this summer. Bring in your tired cans, your empty bottles yearning to earn a fee....
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,066 posts, read 1,302,107 times
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Iowa does have a lot to offer for out-of-state tourists (legalized gay/lesbian weddings, some of the finest hunting grounds in the land, and some surprisingly nice areas for hiking and boating) but for whatever reason, the state just doesn't promote these features to their potential.

The bottle deposit thing is rather unique feature, as just a handful of states utilize it (Iowa and Michigan are the only Midwestern states). Of course, purchasing a soda bottle in Iowa also means you gotta pay 5 cents more for it up front. But unless you have several thousand empty cans and bottles just sitting there in your garage, it's a colossal waste to go from a state such as Colorado all the way to Iowa just to cash in - for instance, a thousand cans will net you just $200, barely enough to offset the fuel cost of a vehicle with just average gas mileage. It's probably much more enticing to those who live within an hour of the Iowa state line for it to be really worth someone's while.

And I have no idea how this all works come tax season.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,542,391 times
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I'm not sure I"m following the OP's proposition but would like to point out that cans that are eligible to be redeemed for money are bar-coded acccordingly. For example, you can't buy a Coke in Missouri and hop over the line and redeem it for 5 cents in Iowa. The can would not have the bar code on it indicating it is redeemable in Iowa.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:57 PM
 
17 posts, read 30,540 times
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It seems like that is true, that Iowa cans have a different barcode. But this is strictly voluntary on the part of the industry, as the states can't legally require unique bar codes...courts said that would interfere with interstate trade.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,542,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebtsflk1 View Post
It seems like that is true, that Iowa cans have a different barcode. But this is strictly voluntary on the part of the industry, as the states can't legally require unique bar codes...courts said that would interfere with interstate trade.
That is not true. Can you link to any source(s) to support this?

The interstate trade issue only applies to the initial sale of the product (i.e...A firm manufactures canned or bottled product in Iowa, but it will be sold in another state. The law does NOT require that company to add the 5 cent Iowa bottle/can return information and thus the law doesn't affect those containers. These cans or bottle are exempt for the law.

Here is the Iowa Code section related to the redemption law. Very specific requirement apply to containers sold in Iowa that will later be eligible for redemption.


https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/chapter/567.107.pdf

Additionally, redemption centers/stores can refuse cans or bottle that are too dirty, too damanged, and/or can limited the number you can redeem per trip.

I think your entire premise is flawed.

Last edited by capitalcityguy; 01-15-2014 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,624,346 times
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Living in a border county where many of the packaged drinks we purchase are bottled in other states, I can assure you that barcoding isn't universal. For instance, Pepsi products packaged in Memphis, Missouri carry the same bar code whether they are sold in Iowa or Missouri. The difference is that the cans sold in Iowa have a gold top with the deposit information stamped into it where those sold in Missouri have a silver top without the stamp. The automated deposit machines in this area won't take Pepsi products because they can't determine eligibility by reading the barcode. We have the same issue with certain brands of beer.

So the OP's suggestion will work as long as the containers are marked for all deposit states (most are), but they would have to be taken to a redemption center or store where the refund is processed manually rather than feeding them into a machine.

That being said, I agree with Fezzador that the hassle and expense of driving to Iowa to redeem the cans probably wouldn't be worth it. Besides, to buy deposit bottles and cans you have to be in or near a state that sells them. So why wouldn't someone just redeem them at home rather than lugging them half way across the country?
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:08 PM
 
8,671 posts, read 8,851,169 times
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Not all stores use the can redemption machines. There are a few grocery stores in Des Moines, for example, that just count them and give you the refund, so the bar code makes no difference. I liked to go to those stores because the can rooms are disgusting! (and often crowded)
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
412 posts, read 1,505,365 times
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In the Quad Cities, Iowa Pepsi cans have a gold top, and Illinois cans have a silver top. One time I brought a case of empty Pepsi cans that I had bought while in Sioux City or someplace out west, and the guy at HyVee gave them quite the close examination, so apparently they do pay attention.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:43 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times
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I didn't realize that you could also bring in cans, I though it was just glass...
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,624,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I didn't realize that you could also bring in cans, I though it was just glass...
Cans, glass, plastic, anything they charge a deposit for when you buy the product can be redeemed.
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