Instead of returning bottles and cans at a grocery store, Roseburgians will soon have the option of dropping off their recyclable containers for a refund at an indoor staffed facility.

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative hopes to soon open a new BottleDrop Center in the old location of Coastal Farm & Ranch at 740 N.E. Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg. There are already 19 BottleDrop Centers across the state.

“Our goal is to open 45 BottleDrop Centers statewide to bring that convenience of the service to as many people as possible, and basically Roseburg has come up on the list because it’s a large enough community that we feel a BottleDrop Center will work really well there, and we happened to have found property that will work for us as well,” said Cherilyn Bertges, OBRC’s public relations and outreach manager.

Bertges said OBRC hopes to close on the purchase of the building in early April. It submitted an application to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the comment period for that ends March 4. The tentative goal is to open around July, depending on the timeline for permits and remodeling construction.

The building covers 24,378 square feet, and half of it will be used for BottleDrop operations while the rest will be leased.

Currently, any retailer that sells containers covered in the state bottle bill and charges a deposit are required to take back the containers.

“They’re very different from bottle return rooms at grocery stores. They’re staffed so they’re a lot more clean and convenient,” Bertges said of BottleDrop Centers.

People can choose three different ways to return containers at the center, one through reverse vending machines, which Bertges said are newer and faster than those at grocery stores. They can accept up to 350 plastic, aluminum or glass containers per person per day, compared to the 144 limit at grocery stores.

Those returning 50 containers or less can choose to have them hand counted at the customer service desk. The third way is to sign up for a BottleDrop account, through which people can fill green BottleDrop bags at home with all types of recyclable containers to drop off at any time. The bags will have stickers with the account number, the staff will count the containers and the refund will show up in the account to be redeemed at the center or some of the participating grocery stores.

There is no cost to use the first two options, but the green bags cost 15 cents each, plus a 25-cent processing fee.

“Partially due to the deposit increase, we’re expecting there to be some additional volume in containers, so we want to first of all make it easy for people to return containers and get their refund and also have the capacity to deal with that extra volume and make sure everything gets recycled,” Bertges said.

Sherm’s Thunderbird, Albertsons, Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, two Rite Aid locations, Safeway and Walmart are all within 2 miles of the center and will no longer be accepting containers at those stores. Small convenience stores will still be required to do so.

Retailers with more than 5,000 square feet and within a 3.5-mile radius of a redemption center, like Costco on N.E. Stephens Street, can participate while still accepting up to 24 containers per person.

Terry Carlile, assistant warehouse manager at Costco in Roseburg, has mixed feelings about the new BottleDrop Center and the increase in refund rates.

“If it cleans up the environment and people are more conscious of taking them in themselves instead of just disregarding their bottles wherever they feel like, it’s going to be a great thing,” Carlile said. “If it doesn’t, I think you’re going to see more drug use and more people searching those bottles out to make a quick buck.”

He said the increase to a 10-cent deposit could be beneficial, but it could also come with an underbelly.

“The people who are getting it, it’s a quick way to get money, to be honest with you, for heroin and methamphetamine or whatever else is on the market,” Carlile said. “If you actually sit by one of those locations and watch the majority of the people, you see it’s created a sub-economy for a bad culture.”

He said he doesn’t know if the center will help take that culture away or exacerbate it.

Bertges said the existing BottleDrop locations have not seen any problems with loitering or vagrancy, as each area has security cameras, and transients using the center would be in the area anyway for the grocery store returns.

Carlile said he thinks the price to customers buying bottled water will substantially increase, from $2.99 to $6.99 for a 40-pack.

Another concern is that people from other states will bring containers into Oregon specifically to get the larger refund without having to pay the higher cost. He said he’s hoping there will be a bar code or another way to ensure that the bottles were bought in Oregon instead of states like Washington that don’t have bottle deposit laws.

On the other hand, Costco does not make any money from operating its own bottle deposit site, and the lower container limit will help Costco’s bottle return facility remain cleaner with less needed maintenance, less traffic and no lines.

He compared Costco’s aging bottle deposit machines to old cars that require extra maintenance.

“You have to maintain it and that costs money and time, and people are kind of angry when they’re broken,” Carlile said.

Joe Gilliam, president of the North West Grocery Association, said the BottleDrop program brings business into participating stores.

Once people build up a balance on their BottleDrop accounts, they will be able to use the BottleDrop Plus rewards program at kiosks in the Roseburg Safeway, Fred Meyer and Albertsons. They will be able to choose between cash back and a store voucher for 20 percent more than cash back.

“So simply put if they go into a store and it has the plus option, and they had $10 in their account, they could take $10 and put it in their pocket, or they could get $12 in store voucher for purchases in that store,” Gilliam said.

People can also donate their refunds to nonprofits by transferring the money from their own BottleDrop account to the nonprofit or working directly with the nonprofit to drop the bottles off in blue bags specific to the organization.

For more information, visit bottledropcenters.com.

Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217.

or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

React to this story:

Angry
0
Sad
0
Funny
0
Wow
0
Love
1

Outdoors and Natural Resources Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

(8) comments

Richard Saunders

Costco’s bizarre view on illegal drugs and bottle return deposits

It sounds to me that according to Terry Carlile, assistant warehouse manager at Costco Roseburg, our state will be fueling the drug industry for a nickel.

Carlile goes on to state that for an extra nickel :

There will be more drug use.
There will be more people trying to make a quick buck.
It will be fueling the drug industry.
People from other states (foreigners) will be coming to Oregon to cash in their containers.
Oregon is creating a sub economy for a bad culture.
Bottled water at Costco will triple in price.

Now, I may just be your average meth head, and this is just my opinion, but at first glance I thought a Bottle Drop Center would be a good thing for me and my druggie friends. Also, I don’t know if I really want any more drug use. I use enough already. It also sounds like “people trying to make a quick buck” is a pretty bad thing. I don’t know if we want people making a quick buck in this town. I also don’t like the idea of foreigners flooding across our Oregon border to cash in a 10 cent bottle. We just may have to build a wall. And now, on top of it all, apparently for an extra nickel, Costco’s bottled water will triple in cost. Now I never finished high school, so maybe this is just way over my little drug-addled brain, but it just don’t add up.

I will have to re-think this whole thing. Maybe just dumping all our bottles and cans in a landfill, the street, the river, the ocean may save our society from utter destruction.

If anyone would like to discuss this further, you will frequently find me loitering around the bottle machines outside Costco. Look for the twitchy guy furiously slamming bottles into the machine.

Mogie

OMG that is such a funny comment. Will look for you next time I go to Costco.

TLH-ALB1

Picture this...

Outside on a cold rainy windy day, waiting for your turn to put your bottles and cans into the machine. Your in the middle of putting them into the machines, one at a time, waiting for the door to open and close, the reader can't read the bar code and it spins, and spins, and spins...only to spit it out. You try again and this time it takes it. For the ones that are not accepted, you put back into your basket and proceed on...then, the machine stops working all together. Then you press the button to have someone service the machine....you wait, and wait, and wait...all the while you are freezing your backside off. You only have a few bottles left and finish up the task, but then you have to press the button again for the guy to come back and count all those bottles that didn't read...so you wait, and wait, and wait AGAIN as your backside is now numb from the bitter cold. Quite the unpleasant experience.

NOW picture this...

You go to a bottle drop center, wait in line...INSIDE, out of the nasty weather...waiting no longer than your "normal visit" at an outside store location. It's now your turn and the machine cruises through your bottles at a rate about 3 times faster; no waiting for the door to open and close. You print out your ticket, walk over to a kiosk, scan it, and get your money...just like getting change back at a self-serve check out.

I must admit, I was very hesitant and skeptical about the bottle return centers and watched it do business in the community for well over a year, before I participated. It was two weeks ago...the experience was not at all what I had expected.

PickNGrin

For everything you'd ever want to know about the Oregon Bottle Bill and Redemption Centers, go here. A link to the application for the Roseburg Center is near the bottom of the page - http://www.oregon.gov/OLCC/pages/bottle_bill.aspx

For a month (until 4 March) OLCC is collecting comments on OBRC’s application for a BottleDrop Center in Roseburg. If people have questions or input, I'd encourage them to email them to Becky Voelkel at Bottle.Bill@oregon.gov

Mogie

The article states "Instead of returning bottles and cans at a grocery store, Roseburgians will soon have the option of dropping off their recyclable containers for a refund at an indoor staffed facility." I hope that the recycling center is open to all not just those from Roseburg.

Mogie

What? This is a quote "Terry Carlile, assistant warehouse manager at Costco in Roseburg, has mixed feelings about the new BottleDrop Center and the increase in refund rates.

"If it cleans up the environment and people are more conscious of taking them in themselves instead of just disregarding their bottles wherever they feel like, it's going to be a great thing," Carlile said. "If it doesn't, I think you're going to see more drug use and more people searching those bottles out to make a quick buck." People that return or cash in bottles are consider drug addicts? OMG...there are a lot of people that recycle because it is the right thing to do. We cash in bottles. Would you pass up a shiny nickel (soon to be a shiny dime) on the ground? Is this new bottle cashing facility a convenience to the consumer (the ones collecting, transporting and cashing in the bottles) or the person redeeming those bottles. By combining many bottle return places into one it is making this MUCH more inconvenient for consumers. It is easier for me to cash in used bottles when I make a trip to the store. I am sorry that the guy from Costco thinks that people who cash in bottles are druggies. Some of us are just trying to be good citizens.

Sound8

Terry Carlile seems to have an odd outlook on life and people and if I were Costco and had an employee spouting off like this I would fire him. What a judgmental person he is, his mother didn't teach him very well.

Richard Saunders

[alien] Exactly!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.