Just in time for the holiday party season, beginning December 19th we’ll have a new way to recycle cans and bottles for deposit in Bend. The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) is opening a one stop shop – called BottleDrop – to redeem cans and bottles for your deposit. While small outlying neighborhood grocery stores will still accept bottles for return, (they will only accept a maximum of 24) participating retailers (ie: most supermarkets in Bend) will no longer be accepting any bottles or cans for return, instead referring their customers to the centrally located Bottle Drop location (the old Salvation Army, on 2nd Street between Franklin and Greenwood).

The BottleDrop redemption center (open 9am-6pm, 7 days a week) offer 3 different options to redeem your recyclables to fit your needs:

Less Than 50, Hand Count

Bring in your small amount of returnables – less than 50 – and someone will hand count them for you right then and you’ll leave with cash in hand.

Up to 350, Reverse Vending Machines

Bring up to 350 returnables and use the reverse vending machines provided. ┬áThese machines are different than the ones you see at grocery stores because you can process any returnable at the same machine – glass, plastic and aluminum. It’s also much faster because it simply whisks the bottles and cans away via a conveyor belt behind the machine to be processed in another part of the building. Redeem for instant cash and the payment station.

EZ Drop

The EZ Drop System is the most intriguing as we haven’t seen a service like this in the area yet. I went to the Town Hall forum recently to hear more about how the system works. Here is what I learned:

  • The EZ Drop System lets you drop off a bag of returnables 24/7 and it credits your account within 48 hours. The first 2 bags are free and after that it’s .15/bag.
  • When you open an account, you receive your BottleDrop card and 2 large green bags with a sticker put on it that corresponds to your card account.
  • Fill the bags up with your returnables (cans and some glass) then drop off up to 2 bags 24 hours a day. A drop-off area will have a small locked door that opens after you scan the bar code on your bag, and closes after it.
  • Your account is credited within 48 hours. Withdraw cash from your account at participating retailers (there will be a BottleDrop kiosk where you scan your card and print a slip, then cash out at the register, similar to getting cash for your bottles now) or at the BottleDrop redemption center’s payment station. Pretty easy.

So start saving your bottles and cans today – those nickel’s add up fast and now its easier than ever to get ’em back!

Head over to BottleDrop for more info!

  1. I’m not exactly sure how this centralized bottle drop location makes it easier for anyone in Bend to recycle. It is a much farther distance for everyone to travel, and sounds like it only makes it easier for the retailers who currently maintain recycling stations, and the recycling organization themselves not having to pick up all over town. The final sentence saying “it’s easier than ever” is a misnomer. The fossil fuels necessary for each individual recycler to travel to one centralized location seems to make this idea counter-intuitive. Rather than tinker with ways to recycle bottles and cans, I would prefer to have the ability to recycle clamshell plastic, plastic lids and caps, plastic grocery bags, and the other materials able to be recycled in the Portland area.

    • You have some good points Liana. Yes it will be further for most people, which is why a central location was found. And yes it will be easier for retailers. As a former cashier, the recycling depot was always a strain to maintain.

      More and more people have opted to include bottles and cans with deposit into their commingle recycling bin – which is the easiest and most convenient option – but then your deposit is forfeited. Despite the driving distance for some, I still think the EZ Drop system does make it easier than ever to get your deposit back – drop off any time day or night whenever you plan to be driving through the center of Bend, and no time invested putting them into a slow machine one by one.

      I understand your desire for expanded plastic recycling options, believe me I do, but unfortunately the OBRC has nothing to do with expanding recycling for anything other than beverage containers, as they were created to put our Bottle Bill to work (check out http://www.obrc.com for more info on them).

      Thanks for your comments!

  2. This program certainly makes it easier on the retailers where we were charged the deposit for products. Definitely not easier on the consumer. After driving halfway across town, with time and fuel involved, this kind of feels like being charged double for deposit. Personally, even despite poor retailer support at my local Safeway in the Forum, it was a great deal more convenient to drop off bottles and cans on routine grocery trips. It’s almost like they don’t want us to get the “deposit” back but rather just “donate” the items to the local recycling program we pay for with garabage service….

  3. all i know is the so called ez drop is easy but the ACCURACY of who ever is counting is highly questionable…. and in some case just WRONG. MY LAST 2 BAGS I DROPPED OFF were full and only had 5 2 liters and the rest cans and i got credited a WHOLE $.95 !! . I truly think these people counting cans hate their jobs and could care less about being accurate, i think i am done with it. why would i waste the fuel driving there to NOT get my actual bottle return that i am owed ??

    • Hi Rob. Have you complained to the local Bottle Drop center? If there are multiple complaints maybe they have a problem. In the meantime you might be better off doing the self serve option if you feel like your account wasn’t accurate. Here’s their contact info: For any BottleDrop Account problems, please stop by a BottleDrop location and ask a customer service associate for assistance. You can also call our toll-free line at 1-877-912-2019, or send us an email at [email protected].

    • i have had the exact same issues actually worse, i have dropped off 9 bags and the last bad was a week ago and NO CREDIT YET, also the count at the glisan drop off is WAY off 9 bags and i have under $22…………… i have had ridiculous amounts like $1.25, $.80, etc. they could care less , it is obvious when you drop off and open the door and bags come falling out , what are they doing back there ? is that not the only thing they do is cans / bottles ??????? i see people sweeping the parking lot and the bins are OVER FLOWING

  4. wow…where do I begin??? I just called the 1-877-912-2019 number from above complaint. I told her that I counted each can in bag for accuracy. I had a credit of 7.85,and turned in 2 bags…one with 100 cans and one with 70 cans. The added credit should have been $8.00 exactly after the .50 cent charge for counting. That totals $15.85. My account shows $15.15. .70 cents short on 2 bags. When I asked about the count over the phone, she said that I was credited $9 something and that the counts were even higher than I sent in. Sounds like someone is ripping off the account. She said that she would mail the count to me, and that she doesn’t know what to tell me about the difference. I said hold on a sec. and she said she had another caller and had to put me on hold. I hung up, but am going to call back for more answers. WOW! I guess if someone is stealing, no one really cares.

  5. I also had some inaccuracies in my account, but then realized I had included cider and kombucha bottles, which currently do not have a deposit on them (that will change next year), although that doesn’t explain your situation. I recommend continuing to count your bottles to hold then accountable (and make sure they all have deposit) or just return them yourself if you feel like you’ve been slighted.

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