In 1971, Oregon was the first state to enact the bottle deposit, which offered consumers the opportunity to receive a five cent refund on each can and bottle.
The deposit increase from five cents to 10 cents was announced on March 20, 2017. Consumers would receive an additional five cents per can and bottle. Beginning on April 1, 2017 beer bottles, soda cans and water bottles will be returned at the increased amount regardless of the date on the container.
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative reported only 20 percent of containers were returned by consumers in 2014 – 2015. This prompted the legislature to send the amendment for an increased bottle refund to Governor Kate Brown for signature in 2016.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported an average of $25 million is unreported as refunded to consumers yearly. The original manufacturer or distributor keeps the redemption value when the container deposit is unclaimed.
Oregon consumers can recycle cans and bottles at one of 16 BottleDrop Redemption Centers across the state. The higher deposit is expected to increase container recycling. Oregon plans to build an additional 45 BottleDrop Redemption Centers to accommodate increased consumer activity.
“It will help keep the state cleaner (and it will help) those who rely on recycling as an additional income,” Titan Store clerk Peggy Thomas said. “I have made an extra five cents on a few.”
Individuals are allowed to recycle a maximum of 144 cans or bottles per day at the redemption centers. Bottle centers collect the recyclables then sends them to be sorted, crushed and baled at one of eight Oregon processing plants. The returned containers are then repurposed throughout the state.