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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unwelcome addition

The recent changes to the Oregon bottle deposit law have already had one predictable side effect: The Whole Foods store in our neighborhood has stopped counting bottles inside the store and has installed the dreaded bottle return machines on the sidewalk outside:

Now that they have to accept deposit containers from every brand of every beverage they sell, too many street people must have been wheeling their shopping carts through the aisles of high-priced goodies for their nickels. So now we get these.

They work fine -- for now. But how long before they break down, and we get to waste time waiting for the standard-issue surly, clueless teenager to show up and sneer at us before he resets them? How long before these contraptions become the usual sticky, smelly nests of contagion? Barring a miracle, it is just a matter of time.

Comments (22)

Shot from your iphone?

Seriously? a store still had people counting bottles? must be nice living the high life with all the rich people.

La Machines!

What better way to avoid the redeemable containers the unwashed have fished out of the port-a-potty collection tanks.

Do ya suppose they dry much in those big black garbage bags?

You really are the ultimate grumpy old man, aren't you Jack?

Not really. I believe strongly in the bottle bill. It just needs some improvements. My program is that the deposit goes up to a dime, wine bottles are included, the beer distributors stop making a profit on the system, and the state opens clean, well staffed redemption centers.

Standing in slime, struggling with machines that don't work, hosted by merchants who don't care -- this isn't fair to the Oregon consumer who just wants to do the right thing. And no, I'm not giving my bottles to street people. It is the same thing as giving money to panhandlers. Bad idea.

I'm 55 years old.

They all smell. They all have sticky floors. And nobody has come up with an easy-to-hose self-draining floor. If Freddy's and Safeway can't do it better, you would think the green stores could. It is just as bad in Seaside as it was in PDX.
I like your ideas, except for the state running deposit stations when they have trouble keeping the parks open and clean.

If the city is so desperate to enforce a law against homeless people (RIP, sit/lie), why not enforce the law that says you can't take anything from a trash or recycling bin set out in front of a private home? (Yeah, there is one.) I'd probably donate my deposits to the city if I knew the city was going to pick them up and not one of the folks who lug the carts around my 'hood.

Hey, I was that kid once.

I still have the sneer.

They've gotten worse lately.

"sticky, smelly nests of contagion"

I'm not sure I understand the new lingo. Does this mean you have to stand there a while to get them to work?

I gave up on those machines a long time ago. I just put all my cans and bottles in a bag on top of my recycling bin on garbage day. In my neighborhood there are some folks that come by and collect them. I don’t think they are homeless, as they are people supplementing their unemployment benefits.

"And no, I'm not giving my bottles to street people. It is the same thing as giving money to panhandlers. Bad idea."

I have a habit of doing this. I agree it's not a good thing because it tends to perpetuate their lifestyle/alcohol addiction. I think it would be great if they had bins/dumpsters set up near these things where you could donate your returns to the homeless shelter directly so you know that the $ was going towards food instead of hooch. The shelter could give these guys something productive to do by sending them out to process the returns. I bet a large # of people put returns into the curbside recycling that would do this if it was hassle free.

It's time to say goodbye to the bottle bill. Returning bottles and cans to a filthy nest of contagion is ridiculous and archaic. Curbside recycling is easy, readily available, and much more sanitary.

Build a better can machine and the world will beat a path to your door. You might not want to be there meet them though.

A different take: Feeding the machines is a chance to rest your brain. Then wash your hands, feel good about recycling and collect a buck or two at the register. And that young person is probably much smarter than you allow.

"I agree it's not a good thing because it tends to perpetuate their lifestyle/alcohol addiction."

Why should people in a higher economic classes be able to tell people in lower economic classes what to do? Is this "trickle-down morality"? What if your employer doesn't like you reading this blog at home and fires you? Is it OK if your employer doesn't want to perpetuate the liberal/blogging "lifestyle." "Street people" have as much right to live the way they chose as you do.

This one actually looks much different from some in Eugene. When the hog/bird/human epidemic takes off I am sure it will have started at the recycling Safeway at 18th and Oak street in Eugene. Do not enter under any circumstances.

Be watching for the bottle bill to get worse. Before long they will put in language that all containers have RFID technology. Legislators will make some mushy environmental excuses for the chip and assert that the global temperature may be changed as long as we embrace the chip technology.

Molly has the best answer...simple curbside recycling. As Oregon is such a total backwater of complete corruption, this isn't gonna happen.


"Street people" have as much right to live the way they chose as you do.

Having lived on the street at several times over the course of my 37 years on this ball of mud, I agree with you to a point.

However, I have a right to not subsidize their buzz. Hey, I too like to drink beer sometimes...but I work hard at a really demeaning and dangerous job in order to earn the money to pay for it, and that deposit comes out of my pocket. Therefore, I keep my cans under lock and key until it's time to go redeem them.

OTOH, the bottles are a pain in the tuchus to sell, because the machines can't read the bar codes very well, especially on the green labels Sierra Nevada bottles come wrapped in.

These I take the time to peel the labels off of before setting them in the recycling tub.

It wasn't always this way. There was a time I didn't mind paying for their crack rock and malt liquor. That is, until the can zombies began to climb my fence and steal my stash of cans, eventually moving on to the theft of my lawnmowers. Yes, that's plural.

Sure, it's petty and mean and it won't bring my mowers back, but the looks on the faces of the can zombies really are priceless.

Abolishing the bottle bill will lead to more litter along the highways, on beaches and other public places. Curbside recycling is great but it doesn't address this issue. The 5-cent deposit, puny as it is, makes the bottles and cans worth some people's time to pick up and thus reduces litter. Personally, I recycle my containers at curbside because 5 cents per item is not significant to me. I don't mind at all if someone who feels differently comes by and takes them. Keep your valuables (e.g. lawnmowers) locked up and it won't be a problem.

Keep your valuables (e.g. lawnmowers) locked up and it won't be a problem.

It is indeed unfortunate that some low bred examples of our pathetic species view a tall fence with a locked gate not so much as demonstrative of their lack of ownership of the items behind said fence, but rather a minor impediment between their sorry asses and the next jumbo crack rock.

You are right...it's my own fault for not chaining my lawnmowers up to fenceposts and the like. This mistake has been corrected. As has my previously naive and generous attitude towards these congenitally devolved, utterly unfit to survive leeches.

My favorite cartoon strip is channeling you, Jack:


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