Bottles & can returnables stack higher with nowhere to go


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Returning bottles and cans for money is not allowed right now due to Governor Whitmer’s executive order. One organization is trying to donate to an important cause, but can’t at the moment.

“We’re so grateful to the community, everybody was so generous,” said Mary Rule, Member of the Marquette Lion’s Club.

This is a story about all the things people can do to support each other.

“They brought us cash donations, they brought us pizza, they were very, very helpful. They’d get out of their vehicles and dump their cans and bottles into big bags for us, I mean they couldn’t have been nicer and we really appreciate the support.”

It’s also a story of what they can’t do because of the restrictions due to COVID-19.

“It’s just now, moving forward, we need a bigger space. A really big space,” said Rule.

The Marquette Lion’s Club held a bottle and can returnable drive last weekend to help raise money for pediatric cancer patients and their families. But after just 3 hours of donations, they couldn’t store anymore.

They filled an entire room.

“2,560 cubic feet of bags full of cans and bottles.”

The biggest question up in the air is what can they do with all of those donations?

Due to Governor Whitmer’s executive order which bans grocery stores from collecting these returnables, the donations can not be cashed in. The City of Marquette still accepts recycling non-returnables, but do not have a plan to cash the public’s returnables.

“I’ve been getting telephone calls all week long, I still got one this morning asking for us to take their returnables,” said Rule.

“But because of the overwhelming response by the community, we’ve become overwhelmed the project from the stand point of we don’t have anymore space to even store the cans or bottles. We can’t return them yet.”

In a time when we can’t do so many things, this is a reminder to focus on the things you can.

“We’d love to be able to sort them out and get them all organized, so that as soon as the governor lifts the restrictions for us to start taking them back that we do, but in the mean time that has become a big hurdle for us.”

Mary and Lion’s Club are looking a larger space to sort and store the returnable donations. If you can help them in anyway, reach out to them on their Facebook.

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