Bottle bill changes uncork opposition

| Print |  Email
Monday, December 01, 2008

STATEWIDE When Oregon became the first state in the nation to pass a bottle bill in 1971, the program built swiftly into a success, with a recovery rate of more than 90%. But a nickel isn’t worth what it used to be. These days beverage distributors collect $16 million per year in unclaimed deposits because Oregon’s redemption rate has dropped to 78%.

A state-appointed task force recommends boosting deposits to 10 cents, including everything from bottled coffee to fifths of bourbon and building 90 new bottle return facilities statewide. Steve Apotheker, a recycling expert for Metro regional government, says the updates are certain to result in higher recovery rates.

At first glance it would seem an easy green vote in a legislative session where it will be easy being green. But the beverage industry is pushing back, hiring lobbyists to argue that new costs will be passed onto consumers and higher volumes will clog the system.

“You have to believe there are more efficient and creative ways to get people to recycle,” says Steve Emery, CEO of EARTH2O, a water bottling company in Central Oregon. “Especially when we’ve got recycling trucks that come to your curbside every week.”

The 42-employee EARTH2O is already adapting to a new mandate starting in January to charge deposits for bottled water, and Emery is not looking forward to additional rule changes and costs. Apotheker counters that if Oregon doesn’t modernize the system it will continue to decline. Legislators will be hearing more from both sides come January.               

BEN JACKLET


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

More Articles

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

Ski traffic

Linda Baker
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS