1. Recycle Smart Minnesota received an education about how bottle deposit systems work south of the border, in Iowa. Traditional redemption centers that take bags of bottles and cans are in decline in the northern part of the state, mostly due to meager reimbursement rates paid by distributors, as directed by Iowa law. While these stops are often the fastest way to get one's deposit money back, one in Mason City asks for a penny per container donation to help keep its business afloat. The other alternative for consumers, who must collect and store their "sticky empties" after paying a nickel extra per container at the point of purchase, is to feed their cans and bottles into machines, one by one, at larger retail establishments. One consumer, who remembers a different Iowa prior to its deposit law in the late 1970s, shared his experience with this inconvenient system. It's also worth noting that Iowa's overall recycling rate is lower than Minnesota's. And, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has no deposit law at all. Still, proponents are planning their push to force a 10 cent deposit system on all Minnesotans starting in 2015.

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  2. Elva lives in Brooklyn Center, and learned about the training program through Arc. She learned how to get better services for her children, and that if she doesn't speak up for them, no one will.

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