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Wilkerson’s take over Caring Cans, continuing to offer local recycling

August 25, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"You wouldn't believe the amount of cans," say Julie and Tom Wilkerson who opened their Wilkerson Redemption Center on June 16. The center is a new addition to their long-standing Wilkerson Hardware business in downtown Toledo.

They took over when Caring Cans, a non-profit in Tama, was disbanded. That operation had contributed over the years to the South Tama Community Clothes Closet and was the sole local redemption center of this type.

"We didn't want to see the service leave town. We wanted to keep it local and people won't have to travel out of town," the Wilkersons said. They also said they had some extra storage space in the business buildings they occupy at 127-129 East High St.

Article Photos

Tom and Julie Wilkerson stand beside a growing mountain of recyclable cans.
In June the Wilkerson’s took over Caring Cans in Tama when the organization disbanded.
The redemption center is located at 129 E. High in Toledo.
Chronicle/John Speer

That space is virtually vacant late on Wednesday afternoon. By the following Wednesday moring it's overflowing with bags of returnable cans and boxes of bottles.

A total of seven distributors pick up at the location each week.

With that kind of volume, the Wilkersons have added six part-time employees to the hardware and redemption business.

Article Map

You can redeem for cash all refundable pop and beer cans and bottles. Also accepted are liquor and wine bottles.

But don't put glass bottles in bags with cans. Julie Wilkerson says this creates an obvious danger in the sorting process which could result in injury.

There's a list of products in cans and bottles which do not require an Iowa deposit and are not accepeted. Among those products are Country Time Lemonade, Snapple products and water bottles.

Fact Box

Wilkerson Redemption Center

129 E. High


Ph. 641-484-4346

Mon-Fri- 6:30 - 7 a.m.

Mon, Tues, Fri 2-6 p.m.

Thur 4-6 p.m.

Sat 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Can, bottle redemption stays local

Just as those are found in returns, the Wilkersons have also discovered a soccer ball, tins, toys, six-pack coolers, pennies and koozies among the items returned for redemption since opening in mid-June.



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