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The Bottle Bill & Redemption Centers

About the Bottle Bill

Oregon’s Bottle Bill was introduced in 1971 as the very first bottle bill in the U.S.  The bill was created to address a growing litter problem along Oregon beaches, highways and other public areas.  Over the years, the bottle bill has become known as Oregon’s most successful recycling program and has prompted several other green initiatives.  Today, ten other states operate similar programs. 
How it works
Oregon retail stores pay the beverage distributor a 5-cent deposit for each container of bottled water (as of 1/1/09), beer and soft drinks they purchase. 
Consumers then pay the 5-cent container deposit to the retailer when they make a purchase.  When they’re finished, the consumer can return the containers to retail stores in Oregon to redeem their 5-cents. 
Distributors pay retail stores the 5-cent redemption for each container returned to the distributor for recycling. Deposits on containers not returned for refund (unredeemed deposits) are kept by the distributors.
Beverage distributors or their contractors who collect containers from stores keep the income from the sale of recyclable material.
Bottle Bill Containers
The containers included in Oregon’s Bottle Bill are water/flavored water, beer/malt beverages, soda water/mineral water, and carbonated soft drinks. All redeemable containers are labeled with the OR 5¢ refund value on the label.
Container sizes are up to and including 3 fluid liters.
OLCC’s role
The state legislature has given the OLCC authority to administer and enforce the bottle bill.  The OLCC is dedicated to the success of the bottle bill by working with distributors, retailers and consumers to make sure they are complying with state laws. 
Other state agencies also play a vital role.  The Department of Agriculture has the authority to enforce the cleanliness of retailer recycling areas.  The Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for collecting data associated with solid waste and container return rates. http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/sw/bottlebill .
Although these state agencies oversee the bottle bill, the government does not receive any income, taxes or fees for services associated with this law.
Benefits of the Bottle Bill
Reduced Litter: In 1971, litter control was a primary reason for initiating the bottle bill.  Since then, the percentage of beverage containers among roadside litter has dropped from 40 percent to 6 percent.
Sustainability: The recycled containers are used to make hundreds of products including fleece jackets, carpeting, baseball bats, license plates, and insulation as well as new beverage containers.
Conservation: Recycling a ton of plastic bottles saves approximately 3.8 barrels of oil.  Recycling one pound of PET (polyethylene terphthalate) plastic bottles saves approximately 12,000 BTUs of energy.  In addition, using recycled materials uses 2/3 less energy than using raw (virgin) materials.

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What Consumers Need to Know

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Beverage Container Return Data

In 2011, the Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 3145, which set a trigger for the deposit to increase to 10 cents if the recycling rate falls below 80 percent for two consecutive years, but not before 2017.  In 2012, the Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 1508, which would allow two or more beverage distributors to establish a cooperative and require cooperatives, distributors and importers to report information on bottle returns to OLCC.

ORS 459A.718(6)(a) states that by August 1 of each calendar year, the OLCC shall calculate the previous calendar year’s percentage of beverage containers returned for the refund value for each distributor cooperative and for each distributor/importer that does not participate in a distributor cooperative. The OLCC shall carry out the calculation separately for glass, metal, and plastic containers and shall post the percentages on the website.

2013 Beverage Container Return Data*
Distributor Cooperative
Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) 74.83%​ 76.38%​ 58.29%​
Distributors/Importers Glass​ Metal​ Plastic
Hogden Distributing​ 68.97%​ 106.00​%​ N/A​
Owyhee Distributing​ 22.35%​ 56.89%​​ 28.62%​
P & E Distributing​ 91.00%​ 85.00%​ 73.00​%​
​Pendleton Bottling 52.14%​ 65.49%​ 40.78%​
Pepsi Bottling Company - La Grande​ 46.76%​ ​​71.49%​​ 31.44​%​
Pepsi Bottling - The Dalles​ 11.69%​ 50.06%​ 48.93%​
All Distributors/Importers​ Glass​ Metal​ Plastic​ Total
78.84%​ 76.31%​ 57.90%​ 70.97%​

*The Commission is still in the process of obtaining information from a small number of
Oregon distributors and importers. The information above will be updated as soon as this data is received.
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Redemption Center Information

Redemption Center Locations 

NE 2nd Street, Bend

2105 W Broadway, Eugene

E. Powell Blvd., Gresham

1204 SW Lake Rd., Redmond

14214 Fir Street, Suite A & B, Oregon City 

12403 NE Glisan St., Portland

1917 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem
4815 Commercial St. SE., Salem
23345 NE Halsey St., Wood Village 


Redemption Center Application Form
To request approval as a Beverage Container Redemption Center, please complete the Redemption Center Application.   
Mail the completed form and attachments to: OLCC, 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222. 


Applications Received & Public Notices 

2702 Eberlein Ave., Klamath Falls
Application for Redemption Center at 2702 Eberlein Ave., Klamath Falls
Public Notice for Proposed Redemption Center at 2702 Eberlein Ave., Klamath Falls

1179 Stowe Ave., Medford
Application for Redemption Center at 1179 Stowe Ave., Medford
Public Notice for Proposed Redemption Center at 1179 Stowe Ave., Medford

1176 N Hayden Meadows Drive, Portland
Application for Remption Center at 1176 N Hayden Meadows Drive, Portland
Public Notice for Proposed Redemption Center at 1176 N Hayden Meadows Drive, Portland

(Withdrawn by Applicant) 1710 W Burnside St., Portland
Application for Redemption Center at 1710 W Burnside St., Portland
Public Notice for Proposed Redemption Center at 1710 W Burnside St., Portland

Pilot Project
House Bill 3145 passed by the 2011 legislature approved establishment of a Pilot Project Redemption Center in a city with a population of less that 300,000, operated by a distributor cooperative serving a majority of dealers in Oregon. (ORS 459A.737) OLCC Commissioners approved an application for a pilot project redemption center at the December 1, 2011 meeting.
The pilot project redemption center is located at 4815 Commercial St SE., Salem. The redemption center provides redemption services for bottles, cans and other containers that are subject to an Oregon bottle deposit. Redemption services include accepting returnable cans and bottles and other containers and paying the bottle return fee. This center will accept containers that are subject to the Oregon 5-cent deposit, even if the containers were purchased at other Oregon stores. 

UPDATE: Senate Bill 117 was passed by the 2013 Legislature, approving the pilot project.  



For more information on Redemption Centers
Kelly Routt 
Phone: 503-872-5007
Toll free: 800-452-6522, ext. 5007 


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Future Updates to the Bottle Bill

House Bill 3145 amends the Bottle Bill in 2011 add all beverages except wine, liquor, dairy or milk substitutes to the Bottle Bill as of Jan. 1, 2018 at the latest.
Beer, soft drinks and water will continue to be covered in containers that are 3 liters or less in size, but the new beverages will be covered only if they are in bottles or cans from 4 ounces to 1.5 liters in size. Metal cans that require a can opener will also not be included.

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For more information

Kelly Routt 
Phone: 503-872-5007
Toll free: 800-452-6522, ext. 5007 
Consumer Questions
Jan Smith
Phone: 503-872-5217
Toll free: 800-452-6522, ext. 5188
Bottle Bill Recycling Data
Peter Spendelow, DEQ Solid Waste Analyst
Phone: 503-229-5253
Toll free: 800-452-4011, ext. 5253

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