Note: The text of this story has been updated since its original publish date.
EUGENE, Ore. — If you return containers for money, there are some new rules and guidelines to be aware of.
The changes are affecting some stores within a three-mile radius of the new BottleDrop Center on West Broadway in Eugene that are participating in a pilot project.
The center, which opened last month, gives residents another resource for redeeming a nickel per container.
BottleDrop accepts 350 containers per person per day. If you have 50 containers or less, a staff member will count them for you at the counter and redeem them for cash. The center also offers an option for people to drop off bags of containers for staff to count, and then return later for their redemption money.
State laws that came with the new redemption center, however, are affecting some nearby stores.
Some shoppers find this change inconvenient.
“I can only get 24 cans per day. That’s $1.20 a day,” said Eugene resident Judy Sapon-Borson. “They’ll give you as many tickets as you have cans and bottles for, but then you can’t cash them all in at the same time. So, I have to go back to Market of Choice every day, and sometimes I don’t go to Market of Choice every day.”
According to Oregon’s bottle bill, stores of 5,000 square feet or more can limit a person to 144 containers per day. Stores smaller than that, can limit to 50. But a law that came with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative’s BottleDrop pilot project affects some stores near the BottleDrop Center in Eugene.
Any stores within a 1.5 mile radius of the BottleDrop Center that are participating in the pilot program no longer accept bottle returns. Participating stores that are in a 1.5-3 mile radius accept 24 containers per person per day. Non-participating stores larger than 5,000 sq. ft. are now accepting 350 containers per day, according to Cherilyn Bertges of the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.
“It makes things harder. It definitely makes things harder. I used to take a very large stash to Market of Choice and plug the machines,” Sapon-Borson said.
Residents say although inconvenient, it’s a law and they’ll have to abide.
“I don’t mind coming here, but it’s harder to have that restriction. I’m adjusting. I’m adjusting. I’m finding a way to make it work,” Sapon-Borson said.
There are still 64 return locations within the three-mile radius from BottleDrop who are not participating. Of these 64 locations, stores smaller than 5,000 sq. ft. will continue to accept 50 containers per person, per day. Stores 5,000 sq. ft. or larger, such as Walmart, will now accept 350 containers per day.
Here is a list of stores in Eugene that no longer accept containers:
- Fred Meyer at 3333 W 11th Ave.
- Albertsons at 1675 W 18th Ave.
- Safeway at 145 E 18th Ave.
- Bi-Mart at 1680 W 18th Ave.
- Brun’s Apple at 849 W 6th Ave.
- The Kiva at 125 W 11th Ave.
Here is a list of stores that accept 24 containers per person per day:
- Trader Joe’s at 85 Oakway Center
- Bi-Mart at 4780 Royal Ave.
- Bi-Mart at 2030 River Rd.
- Rite Aid at 1970 Echo Hollow Rd.
- Rite Aid at 57 W 29th Ave.
- Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage at 201 Coburg Rd.
- Capella Market at 2489 Willamette St.
- Safeway at 350 E 40th Ave.
- Market of Choice – 1060 Green Acres Rd.
- Market of Choice – 1960 Franklin Blvd.
- Market of Choice – 67 W 29th Ave.
If you’d like to read more about the Bottle Bill and other laws that pertain to it, click here.