SALEM – Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed a bill revamping Oregon's bottle deposit system.
The bill signed Thursday will make the deposit system apply to just about any glass, metal or plastic beverage container -- effective by 2018. The existing law requires a deposit for plastic water and soda bottles but not for nearly identical iced tea bottles.
Background: Oregon lawmakers look to expand bottle bill
Two Hood River High School seniors played a big role in the bottle bill law.
Alix Melton and Ali Danko testified as experts on the bottle bill redemption experience after collecting containers from the Hood River area for more than two years. They sorted about 220,000 bottles and cans and raised about $11,000 dollars for local charities.
"A lot of people are really confused about what they can recycle and what they can redeem,” said Ali Danko, “and so I think this bill will just help raise awareness and increase the recycling."
The measure also increases the current nickel deposit to a dime if redemption falls below 80 percent for two consecutive years.
It's currently just below that level. And the new law expands an experiment with centralized redemption centers that allow people to redeem bottles in specialized locations instead of at the local grocery store.
"In the Portland area,” Alix Melton said, “the redemption center will be super helpful for people because I know they don't like feeding the machines and it's so much easier to just drop them off."
Kitzhaber says the bill will decrease litter and improve recycling.