State bottle bill would increase deposit, change Oregon recycling

As the first state in the nation to adopt the bottle deposit in 1971, Oregon has always been forward thinking when it comes to [email protected]@Bottle deposit:[email protected]@

House Bill 3145, which passed on May 4, would amend the current bottle bill by increasing the types of containers accepted for deposit and raising deposit from five cents to 10 cents if recycling rates fall below 80 percent. The bill would also change how bottles are redeemed, creating “a one-of-a-kind pilot of a larger redemption center” than the state currently has, according to state Rep. Ben Cannon. @@HB 3145 passed May 4:[email protected]@ @@Ben Cannon:[email protected]@

According to the Container Recycling Institute, states with bottle bills have a beverage container recycling rate of around 60 percent, while non-deposit states only reach about 24 percent.

Rep. Matt Wingard voted against the bill because he thought the redemption rate for bottled water should not go up to 10 cents, given the low cost of water. @@

“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to pull the 10 cents piece out of the bill,” Wingard said.

Since the bottle deposit was introduced in 1971, it has been amended, but the price of the deposit had not been increased.

“The value of the nickel has changed,” University Recycling Program Manager Karyn Kaplan said. @@[email protected]@

“Oregonians like to be outdoors more than indoors; Oregonians like to keep their rest stops clean; Oregonians like to keep the beaches clean; and Oregonians like to take their cans and bottles back,” Sen. Peter Courtney said. “It’s not a Democrat; it’s not a Republican thing; it’s not a rural or urban thing. It’s not an Eastern Oregon thing as opposed to Central Oregon or the coast or Portland thing. It’s an Oregon thing.” @@

Kaplan agrees that this bill transcends the conventional party lines, pointing out that the it was initiated when the governor was Tom McCall, a Republican. @@[email protected]@

Water was added to the bottle bill in 2009 and the University Senate executive committee recently passed a bill that would ban water bottles from being distributed on campus, which has since moved on to the Vice President of Finance and Administration Frances Dyke, Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean and University President Richard Lariviere.

“I know overall bottle water usage is declining,” Kaplan said. “Bottled water is expensive — a lot more expensive than gas.”

Kaplan said when the campus recyclers go through the bottles, water bottles often still have water left in it, while other bottles are empty. The Campus Recycling Program has more than 1,500 collection sites on campus where students can recycle paper, glass and bottles.

“The cost for not having a bottle bill is beyond the recovery of recyclables,” Kaplan said.

The Oregon Senate Environment and Natural Resource Committee will have a public hearing about the amendments to the bottle bill May 19 at 3 p.m.

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