OREGON, USA — The Pacific Northwest has a healthy obsession with the environment, more specifically not ruining it. Environmentally-minded Oregonians have long been fans of former Gov. Tom McCall. He would have been 108 this year. One of his most well-known accomplishments was the Bottle Bill.
Oregon's Bottle Bill encourages recycling by giving you 10 cents for every bottle or can you return. Of course, you do pay for that upfront when you purchase them.
Stephen, a viewer of KGW's The Story with Dan Haggerty, asked, "The story on Tom McCall’s creation of the bottle bill reminded me that the traditional bottle return machines have been closed since November (at least those I’ve seen in Portland) related to COVID. Are there any plans to turn these on again?"
When the pandemic started, the bottle return locations at grocery stores closed and the few major redemption centers that stayed open had lines a mile long. But now, there is some good news for all those who have mountains of bottles and cans that need to be returned.
Last week, five more counties moved into either low or moderate risk status. There are currently 25 counties in Oregon designated at the low or moderate COVID risk levels, including all three in the tri-county area. That means the grocery store locations in those counties must start taking your bottle and cans again. They could have limited hours, but they should be back open.
Bottle drop off locations in counties in the extreme or high risk levels can stay closed if they want.