SALEM, OR -- The state’s bottle redemption value increased from a nickel to a dime on April first. Jules Bailey, with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, says that led to long lines at Bottle Drop sites across the state. "Our initial estimates are that we had over double our normal volume, on Saturday. And, I think that shows people are responding to that 10-cents." Specific numbers are not yet available for Bend and Redmond Bottle Drop facilities.
Bailey admits some of the initial excitement could be because consumers paid a five-cent deposit on qualifying bottles and cans
, so they essentially made money on the transaction. "We just thought it’s important that we honor any bottle that comes back after April first, and that’s what the Legislature said – that we would honor any bottle that comes back. We want to make it a smooth experience for consumers." He tells KBND News bottles and cans will still show a five-cent deposit for a while, "The Legislature actually just passed a bill last month that said manufacturers have a grace period to get that notation changed from five to 10 cents. And, as that happens, they will be phased in over time." He says it could take up to 18 months for manufacturers to make the necessary changes.
While Bailey says lines at redemption centers should decrease as the initial excitement wears off. However, there's another option for collecting that dime, "We do have a green bag program. If you don’t want to wait in line, you can sign up for a bottle drop account and then put all your bottles and cans in one of the green bags with your barcode on it, drop it off at our facility and we count it for you and automatically credit your account; so there’s no waiting and no line. Otherwise, for folks that want to use the machines, come on down, and hopefully there won’t be quite the lines that we saw on Saturday."
According to the 1971 bottle bill
, the redemption value must increase if the return rate falls below 80% for two consecutive years. The OLCC reports the rate was only 64% in 2015 and 68% in 2014.