A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

In support of bottle redemption center

Written December 1st, 2013 by Hasso Hering
The long-closed thrift store on Santiam Road.

The long-closed thrift store on Santiam Road.

If the Albany planning staff has its way, there won’t be a Bottle Bill redemption center where the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative wants to put one. So let’s hope the staff’s reservations can be overcome.
The recycling cooperative has asked the city to amend the zoning code to allow a redemption center for bottles and cans in the long-vacant Salvation Army thrift store on Southeast Santiam Road. The city staff is against it on the grounds that the area is zoned for a mix of neighborhood commercial uses. The staff fears the redemption center would draw people from all over the area, destroying the area’s neighborhood feel.

What neighborhood feel? Santiam Road is a thoroughfare, a shortcut to avoid Pacific Boulevard and downtown. The nearby skatepark already draws young people from all over. The boarded-up thrift store is a depressing eyesore. The central location is ideally suited for a redemption center because under state law all Albany supermarkets could make use of it (though Walmart only partially because it’s more than two miles away).

The redemption center would allow consumers to save up their returnable containers and drop them off for a credit once every few weeks or even months. No more waiting at those slow and often balky redemption machines. That’s especially helpful to school groups doing bottle and can drives to raise money.

The city planning commission will take up the beverage association’s request on Jan. 6, 2014. It should support the zoning amendments needed to allow plans for this redemption center to go ahead. (hh)

5 responses to “In support of bottle redemption center”

  1. Ted Salmons says:

    Ah, yes. The same type of “refusal to adapt” planning nonsense made famous by Detroit.

  2. Bill Kapaun says:

    Not having a car means I’d have to go a mile each way simply redeem my returnables. The grocery stores are NOT in that direction!
    With the current system, I can take a small amount of returnables on my shopping trip and redeem them with no additional effort.
    Like others, the machines can be slow, although often because of the users.
    That’s just a matter of demanding better service from the stores.

    As far as “charitable groups” wanting to handle large quantities- There ARE some stores that allow you to take in bags of 100 with a pre-arrangement.

  3. Chuck Leland says:

    Can someone give more details how the redemption center will function? Will there by an employee (more jobs?) to take my bottles and cans? Who bears the costs of operations? Will grocery stores still accept cans and bottles as in the past?

    I’ll be looking for more info here on Hasso’s site. .

  4. Hasso Hering says:

    To see how a redemption center would operate, check what the recycling cooperative issued as a press release when its new Salem BottleDrop was about to open in October:

    “Salem, OR – The newest BottleDrop Redemption Center will open in north Salem on October 3, 2013. The new facility, operated by Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), is located at 1917 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR. BottleDrop will allow area consumers to redeem their bottles and cans quickly and efficiently in a fully staffed facility seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    “The new 7,000 sq. ft. facility will employ approximately 8 people and offer three convenient ways to redeem Oregon deposit containers:
    • Hand Count- Staff will count up to 50 containers per day.
    • Self-Serve- New reverse vending machines will accept up to 350 containers per day.
    • EZ Drop System- Fill pre-labeled bags with deposit containers and drop off 24 hours a day. BottleDrop staff will count and sort the containers. The cash value will be credited into an account which can be accessed at participating retail store kiosks or any BottleDrop location.

    “BottleDrop Centers are operated and funded by OBRC in partnership with participating grocery retailers. Stores within 1.5 miles of the new redemption center will no longer be required to accept deposit containers after October 9th. Grocers within 2.75 miles of the facility will accept a maximum of 24 containers per day.
    “No Longer Accepting Containers
    • Food-4-Less at 3695 Devonshire Ct.
    • Fred Meyer at 3740 Market st. NE
    • Safeway at 3380 Lancaster Dr. NE
    • Roth’s at 702 Lancaster Dr. NE.

    “Accepting 24 Containers Per Day
    • Fred Meyer at 2855 Broadway st. NE
    • Roth’s at 4746 Portland Rd NE
    • Safeway at 1265 Center St NE
    • Winco Foods at 1240 Lancaster Dr. SE.

    “The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which governs the Oregon deposit law, unanimously approved the statewide rollout of the BottleDrop Redemption Center concept based upon success of three pilot redemption centers in Wood Village, Oregon City and south Salem. OBRC has recently opened a 4th BottleDrop facility in NE Portland and plans to open additional locations in Gresham, Bend and Eugene within the next six months.
    “OBRC is a member-owned, cooperative corporation that acts on behalf of beverage distributors to administer Oregon’s bottle bill; collecting and processing 98 percent of all containers sold and redeemed in Oregon. OBRC counts, sorts, crushes, bales and recycles those containers. The entire process is funded and managed by the beverage and grocery retail industries – at no cost to taxpayers.”


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