The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 8, 2014

Legislature won't take up 10-cent deposit

By Elizabeth Dunbar

Minnesota Public Radio News

Minnesotans won’t be asked to pay a 10-cent deposit on bottles and cans anytime soon.

DFL lawmakers say there just isn’t time to consider such a big change this year. But some of them still hope there is time to address the state’s lagging recycling rates through other legislation.

Opposition to container deposit mounted even before anything was formally introduced. Trash and recycling haulers, grocers and the beverage industry all lined up against it. Lobbyists representing national industry groups flew into Minnesota for meetings and hearings, and opponents even formed a new interest group, Recycle Smart Minnesota.

But the DFL lawmakers who were thinking about introducing the container deposit bill say lack of time is the main reason they’ll hold off.

“I think our maximum time period is nine weeks, so it’s not really a time that we’re going to be looking at major policy issues,” said state Rep. Melissa Hortman, DFL- Brooklyn Park.

Because of its complexity, the bill likely would have needed hearings in six different House committees, Hortman said.

“We really don’t have the time for a knock-down drag-out fight between the interest groups,” she said. “I think next year would be a great time to take a look at it. When you look at the value of material we’re throwing away, it’s very significant.”

Ten states have deposit laws, and recycling rates for bottles and cans in those states are twice as high as in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s overall recycling rate has been flat in recent years at just over 40 percent. The state has always been among the top recycling states, but now other states are catching up.

In the Twin Cities metro area, the goal for the last nearly 25 years has been to recycle half of all waste. Some lawmakers say even without a deposit bill this year, the Legislature should at least boost that goal.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014