A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

When the Bottle Drop looks full, push

Written April 10th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The bag portal at the Albany Bottle Drop redemption center at 3:06 p.m on April 6.

Every once in a while, this is what you find when attempting to deposit bags of empties at the Albany Bottle Drop, the community’s lone redemption center on Santiam Highway: The Bottle Drop looks full.

At first this seems like a dilemma. Do you take your bags back home? Or do you walk around to the front of the store and then try to hand them to an employee inside?

My preferred alternative is the third option. It is to place the bag in the opening and push hard enough to force it inside.

This is easier than it might look. The bags full of empties are not heavy, and the room behind them has plenty of space. So the pile can be moved back by pushing on the front.

It’s not a big deal, obviously. If you’re concerned about this, you are thinking, you must not have any other issues or problems to worry about.

But finding the outside bag door jammed full is another indication that as long as Oregon retains its 50-year-old container desposit law, and expands it from time to time to cover ever more types of containers, having one redemption center in a town of 55,000 people is not enough.

This point — that Albany needs more Bottle Drops — has been made before. So far the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperatve has turned a deaf ear. (hh)

12 responses to “When the Bottle Drop looks full, push”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I’ve done that many a time. “It’s not a big deal, obviously.”
    Thank you…

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Albany needs more bottle drops? Quit pointing fingers and call your state rep.

    About ninety percent of Oregon containers are being refunded.

    So you pay that dime and get that dime back, while the unrefunded dimes pay OBRC to provide drop centers and pay for the logistics of handling/moving all those containers.

    Either quit recycling so much, or lobby your rep (if they’ll listen) to find a way to incent OBRC to make more capital investments.

    You accuse OBRC of having a deaf ear without offering a dime’s worth of evidence. A cheap shot on your part.

  3. GregB says:

    I was there a couple of days ago and it was impossible to push any more bags in. I have pushed them in before, but could not this time. I took the bag around to the front and one of the employees said to set it by some other green bags. I really dislike that place.

  4. MarK says:

    My latest experience with BottleDrop was pushing in 4 bags. First, they only credited me for 1 bag, saying that I didn’t scan my card to open the door. What a ridiculous excuse! Is someone going to steal bags of cans, put my stickers on them and give me credit for them??? If someone ahead of me holds the door open for me, why wouldn’t I accept the courtesy??? Would you do that for an entry door? About a week later I was credited for another bag and several days after that for the remaining 2 bags. CRAZY!

    • DSimpson says:

      I once had an interesting conversation with someone I held open the door for– he insisted that he had to scan his code to open the door, else his deposits would not be counted. When I pointed out that he’s just throwing the bags into a room, where they will later be scanned by an employee, he looked at me like I was speaking Martian. When I followed up with, “Do you close the door, and re-scan to open it for each bag?” He said, “No.”. Reminds me of the George Carlin quote,“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

  5. James Engel says:

    Damn Gordon, can’t you be a bit more pleasant at times and have some worth while ideas. We get bags from SafeHaven animal shelter on old Hwy 34. Pre-labeled so just drop them off. YES, a 2nd location would be great. Saves waste at the dump. Perhaps the trouble is….lazy people just don’t wanna work. TOO many safety nets.

  6. centrist says:

    To HH
    We find no need for the drop now, but used it often once. We chose the keto diet, so there hasn’t been much need. I lost 40+. Don’t ask upper mgmt.
    Never had a bad experience at the drop. But then, my upbringing taught patience, tolerance, moving on.

  7. MarK says:

    Another location??? Have you seen the lowlifes that hangout there and the garbage they leave??? NO businesses in their right mind would want a location near them!

  8. Jo Musch says:

    One time I pushed them to fall over, and the guy inside yelled “you hit me.” Oops.

  9. Uncle O says:

    The old Megafoods building at the intersection of the Queen Expressway and Geary Turnpike would be a great place for another BottleDrop. Infrastructure for large vehicles to remove the accumulated detritus, and no other businesses within 100 yards.

    At the current location it would be welcome if they would paint loading zone marks in the three spots in front of the drop off door so that people wouldn’t park there for more than it takes to drop off their bags.

    Oh, yeah, if they could get the vagrants that hang around front to work processing the bagged cans for $10/hour that would be a great thing too.

    • MarK says:

      Or maybe a couple of rakes and brooms to clean up the mess they leave around the outside of the building.

    • George Pugh says:

      Oregon’s current minimum wage in “Standard Counties” is $13.50. In “Non urban counties” it is $12.50.


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