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Friday, June 25, 2010

Bottle return hell shows signs of improvement

Let's hope this is a success and gets replicated throughout the metropolitan area. Given the high correlation between bottle returning on the one hand and alcoholism and mental health problems on the other, however, inner Portland will probably be the last location that makes this move. The place would be a magnet for all sorts of sad stories.

Comments (6)

I've always thought that we were missing a public mental health opportunity at the bottle/can machines. Much like salt licks that get put out for both domestic and wild animals to get their dietary minerals; there should be public Haldol (a typical antipsychotic drug) lick blocks available near the machines. Then some of 'professional' bottle returners can dose themselves and stay on the meds they need...and everyone wins with the local recycling collection areas.

I don't know if the licks are what we need, but it would be an ideal place for some sort of mental health intervention.

If we had any money for it. Go by streetcar!

...it would be an ideal place for some sort of mental health intervention.

Sort of like the final days of Hamsterdam in Season 3 of The Wire.

Only different.

Currently, those 'canners' may or may not have issues/addictions you benignly support when you leave cans out for them. Dragging cans and bottles to Freddies is an exercise in nastiness.. overworked machines, long lines, nasty smell,etc.
I would welcome redemption centers, but suggest being able to redirect the money received to mental health services. Cumulatively, it would make a big differenct.

So, if you use this place you get a card that is only good at participating grocery stores?

I can't believe how worked up people get about the gathering of cans and bottles. The people I see regularly gathering cans and bottles in our neighborhood are simply trying to earn enough to get into a shelter at night or to sustain themselves. If they were druggies they'd probably be robbing people or breaking into homes - both of which would provide a quicker, more lucrative return for their efforts. I don't know about you, but I'd rather see someone gathering cans than breaking into my apartment.

Accumulating money through the gathering of bottles is a tedious business. An increasing number of people are simply unemployed and homeless, not necessarily afflicted with mental problems or engaged in substance abuse.

They also remove bottles and cans that would be recycled rather than redeemed and which the original owners were too lazy to redeem themselves.

I sometimes stop to talk with them and occasionally pass along food and clothing so I suppose you could consider me guilty of "chumming" yet not all of us have options and - over time - I think we all need help.

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