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Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's about dang time

Our spies out in the hinterlands tell us that the second of the area's new centralized bottle return facilities is about to open in Oregon City on Monday. The first one apparently is already up and running in Wood Village. One reader reports:

They had a kiosk at the OC Fred Meyer yesterday. Very cool. They'll take up to 200 bottles per day. You can put them in the machine yourself and get your cash money right then, or you can drop them off, they'll count 'em, and credit a debit-type card which can be used at any local grocery store. I'm sure the David Wilsons of the world will quickly figure out a way to game the system (and God help them if they ever open one of these in Portland proper), but I'll be using it until it's not worth it to me any more.

I'll report my findings when I drop off my first batch of bottles in a few weeks.

The day that we Portland consumers can get our deposit money back without enduring the current nightmare of grocery store parking lot bottle return contraptions will be a happy day, indeed. Maybe the Port of Portland could get one sited out by the airport.

Comments (27)

As a resident of Fairview I have used the new drop off site and it is great, very clean and efficient. Portland could learn from this experience. Although I doubt it.

Tri-Met should look into this. Hahahahaha.

Larry --
Is your center bum-friendly? I mean, if they were to build one in Portland proper, it would have to be easily assessable to the (not so) transient population. Perhaps Randy Leonard could combine of few of those pricey toilets with the siteā€¦.

Also, is the center assessable by bike?

Thanks for the heads up. My new plan will be to return at the Wood Village bottle drop, and "refill" at McMenamins Edgefield!

I leave mine curbside for recycling. let Oregon keep the nickels. Painless. No mess, no fuss, no waiting, no time-wasting trips to a drop-off point.

Why the 200 limit? Seems silly to drive all the way out there for that. The grocery store limit is 144.

I hate going to the grocery store to redeem bottles so I have seven or eight lawn bags worth on my back porch. I was waiting for this place to open so I could just load up the truck on a Saturday and go.

I wish a good non profit like Oregon Food Bank would open such a bottle drop. I would gladly trade my refund to them for the simplicity of an easy drop and tax deduction.

Funny thing is the bottle bums in my neighborhood won't take McMenamin's bottles.

I love this place. After a few weeks of dropping off two bags at a time each week on my way past the area, my garage is clear. Well worth the 20 cents a bag to dump them on the counter and walk away. With the account set up, I don't cash out every time. I have heard that they will take more than 200 at a time if set up in advance, but I don't know what the criteria is to do that.

With curbside recycling there is no reason for bottle deposits. The whole system is unnecessary,

I leave mine curbside for recycling.

I did the same thing for a while. That was until I discovered a homeless person rummaging through my recycling and garbage. Not saying they won't keep doing it, but they won't get rewarded in my bins.

"With curbside recycling there is no reason for bottle deposits. The whole system is unnecessary,

Posted by Gary"

I disagree. Without the monetary incentive a lot would end up in the dump.

It's a hopeless cause, Bojack.

I visited such a bottle return facility in Palm Springs, California, not too long ago, and it wasn't a very well run operation. A manual collector had to be called over when the machine broke down, and he soon thereafter disappeared. Ended up just driving off without any change back. (Wife wanted to try so I reluctantly went along with the adventure.)

Besides, Bojack, your time is so much more valuable than chugging yourself to the bottle return area. It might take fifteen minutes to return say 25 bottles, working out to a $1.25 in change back. Extrapolate this, and maybe your making a net compensation of $5 an hour. Not even minimum wage. Your breaking the state's own labor laws.

The more proper way of recycling the bottles and cans for folks with your position in life is to place them in a separate bag (paper) on the curve along side the garbage can and other recycling cart. Folks in need are sure to collect the bottles and cans, saving your valuable time while simultaneously you help people help themselves.

Now if your a Chris Dudley type (Nice guy I even voted for over Retread), you probably even write off your bottle giving someway or another. But I don't recommend this.

The proof for me that the system is unnecessary is that a vast majority of states don't have a bottle/can deposit. With everyone driving somewhere to get their money back I'm sure the net effect on energy use is to increase it. You'll never convince me that that driving to Oregon City from almost anywhere to return a sack or two of cans is saving more energy than it's using. It's just a feel good project for those who don't like to add up all the costs.

"It's just a feel good project for those who don't like to add up all the costs." Gary! That sums most liberal aganda items pretty well....brilliant!

Gary - the system isn't intended to make/lose money, it originally was begun to reduce litter. Compared to other states I've driven through over the years, I think it's worked - with the ancilliary effect of less other junk tossed out the windows of passing cars. The nickel - 20 or 30 years ago? - was the incentive to not toss things. If the deposit was up to 20 cents or so, even you might think about returning your bottles.

let Oregon keep the nickels.

No, your practice gives nickels to hobos and beer distributors. None of your unclaimed deposits go to the state.

Folks in need are sure to collect the bottles and cans, saving your valuable time while simultaneously you help people help themselves.

And perpetuate their problems? No, thanks.

And if I can get $7 of my after-tax pay back for standing at a machine for 10 minutes, I'm going to do it.

They definitely need to up the deposit in Oregon to keep up with inflation. I live three short blocks away from a Safeway and I often don't want to go deal with it. Thirty cents for a six pack. About half of the time I just leave them outside as my hobo tax.

The Thriftway store here has bins set up along the front of the store (inside) with the names of area schools printed on the front of each. One school, one bin. Bottles and cans can be dumped in, and the store redeems them and forwards the money from each bin to the school that received the "donation".

Just the Garden Home Thiftway ends up sending several thousand dollars each year to the various schools.

Alternatively, if you want cash back without standing in front of one the darned machines, you can put your bottles and cans back into their cases and take them over to your Plaid Pantry store. If they sell the product, they'll just hand you the cash - up to $2.50 or $3.00, depending on the outlet.

The idea I tried selling in the 70's was to create redemption centers and pay the customers with Stamps as with "Green Stamps" that would have a greater in-store worth than cash. The stores would again be participating retailers as with the Greens.

Yes, the grocers and bottling folks would pick up the tab as I suspect they are today.

Oh well, we are there now and we have the filthy mess out of our grocery stores.

What motivated me then was learning how Port-a-potty service people fished out deposit cans and bottles for extra money.

I bring mine to New Seasons and just plunk the whole bag into the Cash for Kids bin. They count them and give the deposit money to the Portland Schools Foundation. I think all the Portland New Seasons branches do this; I know the Sellwood and Division Street ones do. It's super easy and not that much money out of my pocket, and what there is of it goes to a good cause.

When the kids were younger I would bring them along to help and they would get the money. I figure if anything I taught them to recycle, and they had to work for some pocket money even if it was only for 15 minutes.

I agree with Bob Clark. Time is money. Nothing like smelling stale beer and urine at the bottle return to get a whopping 3.75. No thanks. I throw them in the big blue bin and let the guys down at metro sort them.

If I go on a bender the previous week and have a bunch I set them out in the yellow bin for the bottle guys to turn into malt liquor. Hopefully they will remember that I'm the dude who helped get their load on and they will car prowl the neighbor's car and not mine. Ah, the joys of close in NE.

Someone forgot an Oxford comma in that bumper sticker logo thing.

Hopefully they will remember that I'm the dude who helped get their load on and they will car prowl the neighbor's car and not mine.

When I lived in Portland, they graduated from taking the cans out of my tub, to climbing the chainlink fence I put up in order to take the cans and bottles I was saving in a barrel in a hidden corner of the yard, to stealing my lawnmowers (yes, plural) to eventually clipping the tags right out of the license plates of my van. This happened on my birthday one year...when the cops finally showed up to take a report, they told me that the junkies and can thieves peeled the tags from the metal and sold them for $5 a pop to people who couldn't get the smoke spewing old Pontiac through DEQ.

"You'd be amazed what these people will do to get a bag full of cans," said the cop.

Towards the end, I just said screw it. If I wasn't going to be allowed to save them in my own yard behind a fence, then no-one would get them. I dutifully squashed each and every can, and peeled each and every label from each bottle, and set them in the recycling tub. Then I waited to watch the thieves...oh, the expressions on their faces were priceless.

Is this actually an improvement? If this model works, the local stores will pull their collection centers (as nasty as they are) and you will be forced to drive a significant distance to recycle these containers. How is that an incentive?

Someone forgot an Oxford comma in that bumper sticker logo thing.

Or maybe they thought about it and decided to follow the AP Stylebook, the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, The Times Online Style Guide or even the University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide.

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