Garbology – Please Recycle

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I am a college student living with my boyfriend and three other roommates. For the most part, we try our best to recycle, whether it being glass/plastic bottles or cardboard boxes. Most of the bottles, either plastic or glass, can be turned in for cash value of five cents.  There are several locations located in Oregon where you can turn in these bottles.

Over the past couple months, I have been collecting any bottle that can be turned in for cash value and sticking them into white garbage bags. I have collected a total of three full bags and I am on my fourth bag! In addition to collecting these bottles, I am also collecting the metal bottle caps from glass bottles, usually beer or hard cider. I found a great website about how you can recycle your metal bottle caps. It explains that instead of throwing them into your recycling bin, that is also filled with cardboard, metal cans and plastic products, you should put the bottle caps into a metal can then crimp it so they don’t fall out. Why? Well, because the bottle caps are so small that they usually get lost with the other materials when they get sorted by their sizes.

I have asked my roommates if they could put any bottle that has that cash value in a bag so it makes a little more easier for me to collect the bottles, but really no one does that. Therefore, I have been garbage diving at least once a week before the trash man comes and takes all out garbage.

The House Bill of 3145 states that water/flavored water, beer/malt beverages, soda water/mineral water, and carbonated soft drinks will be accepted in containers that are 3 liters or less in size. New beverages will be accepted if the bottle or cans are from 4 ounces to 1.5 liters in size. In addition to this, metal cans that require a can opener will not be accepted, along with wine, liquor, dairy or milk substitutes containers. All redeemable containers are labeled with the OR 5¢ refund value on the label.

Oregon’s Bottle Bill was introduced in 1971 and was created to help address the growing litter problem along Oregon’s beaches, highways and other public areas. It was the very first bottle bill in the United States and was so successful that there are now ten other states that have similar programs.

-UPDATE-

March 7th 2015

My boyfriend and I drive to the nearest BottleDrop A girl putting a glass bottle into the bottledrop centercenter and I turned six  full bags of cans/bottles.

I would say the overall experience wasn’t terrible, but the machines they use to count/collect the bottles can be a little weird. Its possible it was just the machine I was using that was acting up, but every time I would put in a glass bottle, the little conveyor belts to take the bottle down, wouldn’t grab the bottle, almost like it was too heavy. Therefore, I would have to slightly push the bottle in to give the conveyor belt a little help. Sometimes I would push the bottle a little too much and the machine would tell me to not throw in the bottles.

The other issue that happened was that the machine would would just stop, spit out a receipt of all the bottles I had collected, and would require a person to “fix” the machine. All the worker would have to do is open the machine, it would print out a receipt for them,  it looks fine, close it and it would start working again. This happened probably about four times.

a girl holding up 11 dollarsI had turned in a total of 229 cans and bottles! The total amount I received was $11.45, which isn’t too bad for just collecting bottles over the course of 3 months.

It felt really good to get money back just by collecting bottles and cans that you use everyday.

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