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The Oregon bottle bill passed the 1971 legislature as a litter bill, designed to clean up the roadsides of Oregon. The bill remained the same, despite several attempts by the legislature and by initiative, until the 2007 legislature added water and flavored water to the deposit, instructed the OLCC to set standards for redemption centers, and established a task force to report back to the 2009 legislature on five items including comments on raising the deposit from a nickel to a dime.
Recycling Advocates has long pushed for the inclusion of all single serve drinks, with the exclusion of dairy products. The reason is that most single serve liquids are consumed away from home and thus does not get into the curbside containers for recycling.
On the heels of the February’s 40th Anniversary celebration for Oregon’s Bottle Bill, HB 3145, sponsored by the bi-partisan team of Representatives Vicki Berger and Ben Cannon, was introduced to modernize the bottle bill.
HB 3145 has four main parts:
1. It expands the types of containers that are covered by the bottle bill to include sports drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea, juice and similar non-carbonated drinks in 2014.
2. It includes the language from HB 3704 (from the 2010 special session) that defines and codifies “distributor cooperatives” and requires them to report annually to OLCC.
3. It increases the deposit to ten cents in 2015.
4. It redefines the land use designation for redemption centers from heavy industrial to commercial use to make them easier to site in convenient locations.
Recycling Advocates has been advocating tirelessly for bottle bill modernization for years, and we are very encouraged that HB 3145 includes the expansion of the types of covered containers and the increase of the deposit to ten cents. We are disappointed that language is not included that requires some form of “return to retail” by stores covered by redemption centers and we will be advocating for these changes as the bill moves through the legislative process.
The 76th legislative session is still young and a hearing has yet to be scheduled for HB 3145. It has been referred to the House Energy, Environment and Water committee. We will keep you informed as it progresses through the process, but we encourage you to email or call your legislators to voice your support.