The photo above reinforces my contention that one Bottle Drop in Albany is not enough for the demand being put on it by people trying to live up to Oregon’s bottle-and-can-deposit law.
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, which runs the redemption centers in Albany and elsewhere, invites beverage buyers to collect their empties in those green bags it sells, and then to drop them off at the customers’ convenience.
But the last few times I’ve done that, and again on Saturday night, the space behind the drop door was packed. I managed to push one more bag in there and close the door again, but it took some doing.
Returning empties should not have to turn into a test of strength. The cooperative owes it to customers to keep the space behind the door more or less empty, or at least empty enough so bags can be slid down the chute.
If the bags bulge out of the opening, the door is hard to close. If it doesn’t close, anyone can come by and grab a few bags, then go back when the place is open and feed the empties into the machines for whatever refund they might yield. Not that anyone would do that, of course. But then again, with the degree of vagrancy going on, who knows?
Get ready for the usual suggestions. “I take all my empties to the humane society.” “Why not keep your empties in your garage for the next bottle drive by whoever still has bottle drives?” “Quit buying beverages in containers.” And so forth.
Fine. Returning the empties in those bags is not the only option for living a happy life. I get that.
But if the deposit-and-return system is based at least partly on the bag program, maybe the people running it should eliminate the hassles and make sure the program works. Either hire enough staff for a smooth operation at the Albany center, or open more of these centers in this and any other town this size. (hh)