How does Oregon’s beverage container redemption system work? In general, a distributor charges a 10-cent deposit when it delivers beverages covered.
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Frequently Asked Questions ion system work? In general, a d istributor charge s a 10 – cent deposit when i t deliver s beverages covered a store , then the store charge s a 10 – cent deposit when i t sell s those beverages to a customer . When a customer return s the empty containers to a store or redemption center, the store pay s the customer 10 cents per container, and when the store return s the empty containers to a distributor, the distributor pays 10 cents per container to the stores. What is the refund value per container? The Oregon refund value on redeemable containers is 10 cents. What kinds of beverages and have a 10 – cent refund value ? The beverages listed below have a 10 – cent refund value if they are in glass, metal, or plastic bottles or cans in the following sizes: T hree liters or less : w ater carbonated beverages beer and malt beverages kombucha hard seltzer F rom 4 ounces up to and including 1.5 liters : other non – alcoholic beverages (includes but is not limited to tea, coffee, j uice, and energy , and sports drinks) other alcoholic beverages (includes but is not limited to hard cider up to and including 8.5% alcohol by volume ; excludes distilled liquor and wine ) marijuana and hemp beverages beverages in all types of containers have an Oregon refund value? Oregon law specifically says b everages in cartons, foil pouches, drink boxes, and metal containers that require a tool to be opened do not have a refund value. Also, beverages in growlers and crowlers do not have a refund value because they are not factory sealed. Only beverages in sealed glas s, metal, or plastic bottles and cans are included in the Bottle Bill.
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Page | 2 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) I was charged a deposit on OR 10¢ on it . Can a store do that? Can I still redeem the container? All beverages that have an Oregon refund value must currently be labeled with OR 10¢ in order to legally be sold or offered for sale . The only e xcept ion s are kombucha, hard seltzer, and oral electrolyte replacement beverages , which are required to have OR 10¢ on the container by J anuary 1, 2021 . Even if the containers for these three beverages t show OR 10¢ before then, stores may charge a 10 cent deposit and the containers are redeemable . O R 10¢ may legally appear anywhere on a container. Cans usually have OR 10¢ etched into the can top , but ev en if deposit labels for other states are listed on the top , it may be anywhere else on the container, including the bottom . Some containers may different location, it is legal to sell in Oregon. If a redeemable container does not have OR 10¢ on it, O LCC will wor k with retailers and manufacturers to ensure the containers are properly labeled and legal to sell in Oregon . Stores and full – service redemption (except for kombucha, hard seltzer, and oral electrolyte replacement beverages ) . What kinds of beverage containers must stores accept? Retailers that are 5,000 or more square feet in size that accept containers (see How many containers mu st stores accept each day? ) m ust accept containers for all brands and sizes for each kind of beverage they se ll . There are five kinds of beverages covered under the Bottle Bill: 1 ) Waters 2) Carbonated beverages 3) All other non – alcoholic beverages (excluding infant formula, liquid meal replacement s , and dairy or plant – based milk if milk is listed as first ingredient ) 4) Alcoholic beverages , including hard seltzer (excluding distilled liquor and wine) 5) Beverages containing m arijuana or hemp If a store 5,000 or more square feet sells any beverage in one of these categories, it must accept empties for all brands and sizes of beverages in that category even if they don’t sell those specific brands or sizes. For example, if a store sells sports drinks, it must accept em – Retailers under 5,000 square feet may refuse to accept containers if they do brand or size. If a store sells a brand or size, they must accept the empty container even if the beverage was purchased at another store.
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Page | 3 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) BottleDrop R edemption Centers , or full – service redemption centers , are required to find the closest redemption center to you, please check the OLCC website for a complete list of redemption centers . How many containers must stores accept each day? Retailers that are 5,000 or more square feet must accept the following number of containers per person per day on all days and at all hours * they are open : Not in a full – servic e redemption center zone 144 In a full – service redemption center zone but qualifies for an exemption 144 Participates in Zone 1 of a full – service redemption center 0 Participates in Zone 2 of a full – service redemption cente r 24 In a full – service redemption center zone but does not participate 350 Not in full – service redemption center zone, but is a dealer re demption center 24 Retailers that are under 5,000 square feet must accept the following number of containers per p erson per day on all days and at all hours * they are open : Not in a full – service redemption center zone 50 In Zone 1 or Zone 2 of a full – service redemption center 24 N ot in full – service redemption center zone, but is a dealer redemption center 24 How do I figure out if a store is in a redemption center zone? Stores 5,000 or more square feet that participate in a full – service redemption center or are exempt from providing equivalent services to a redemption center are listed on the OLCC Bottle Bill web page here: Redemption Centers Complete List . Stores under 5,000 square feet that are in a full – service redemption center zone are required to have an OLCC notice posted (or a sign mad e by the store with equivalent information) saying they may limit returns to 24 containers per person per day (see Do stores have to post any kind of sign about redeeming containers? ) . You can also c ontact OLCC at OLCC.BottleBill@oregon.gov if you want to check to see i f a store is in a full – service redemption center zone. Do stores have to post any kind of sign about redeeming containers? Stores must post signs with specific information on them in order to refuse dirty or damaged containers and to refuse more than the limits of containers listed in How many containers mu st stores accept each day? Oregon law requi res stores to post these signs where th ey are clearly visible to customers in each area where containers are received . OLCC.BottleBill@oregon.gov to get a sign that meets the legal requirement for their store. What is a BottleDrop Redemption Center? A BottleDrop Redemption Center ( a full – service redemption center) is a staffed facility operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) that has received
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Page | 4 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) approval from OLCC to accept empty beverage containers from consumers. BottleDrop Redemption Centers are staffed and open seven days per wee k for a minimum of 10 hours per day during June, July, and August and a minimum of 9 hours per da y during other months. BottleDrop Redemption Centers accept the following number of containers per person (or per account f or account holders who use the G reen or B lue B ags): Containers fed by a customer into a reverse vending machine 350 /day Hand counted by redemption center staff 50 /day Green B ags (personal accounts) 15 bags / quarter Blue B ags (fundraiser accounts) 10 bags /day Redemptio n centers will accept up to 50 B lue B ags per account per day by prior arrangement. Call 503 – 542 – 2847 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment. To find the closest full – service redemption center to you, please check the OLCC Bott le Bill webpage for Redemption Centers Complete List . Stores with reverse vending machines or BottleDrop Express facilities are not BottleDrop Redemption Centers. Stores with a BottleDrop Express installed and stores in the surrounding area must continue to accept 50 or 144 containers per person per day. What is a BottleDrop Express and a Dealer Redemption Center? A BottleDrop Express and a De aler Redemption Center are facili ties with drop door s for BottleDrop account holde rs to drop off G reen and B lue B ags of containers like at a BottleDrop Redemption Center, but are located at a store . OBRC picks up the full bags from the store , counts the c refund value of the containers within seven days, the same as at a redemption center. Dealer Redemption Centers (DRCs), also known as partner retailers, are stores that have partnere d with the OBRC under the requirements of ORS 459A.741 , which was enacted in the 2019 Orego n legislative session . Not every bag drop – off location is a DRC. A DRC will have a sign posted near the drop door that will identify it as a D ealer R edemption C ent er. The store will also have an OLCC notice posted in its container return area (which is not necessarily near the drop door) , identifying it as a DRC and indicating that the store may limit returns to 24 containers per person per day. Stores with a DRC must continue to accept container returns outside BottleDrop’s Green and Blue Bag account programs at all hours* the stores are open, but may limit these returns to 24 containers per person per day. These returns would be by hand count or through a self – s ervice machine.
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Page | 5 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) BottleDrop account holders can drop up to 15 Green Ba gs per calendar quarter at BottleDrop locations (Redemption Centers and BottleDrop Express l ocations) . Account holders can drop off between one to 15 bags per visit, but may not exceed 15 bags per quarter, which run January – March, April – June, July – September, and October – December. The Green Bags dropped off at DR C s limits on Green Bags , but re tailers may limit customers to two bags per da y . Blue Bags are used by Oregon nonprofits participating in the OBRC Give program. Fundraiser Blue Bags must be purchased through a Give account online and can then be picked up at any BottleDrop Redemption Center. For Blue Bag fundraiser accounts, cust omers may deposit through the drop door up to 10 Blue Bags per account per day. BottleDrop Express facilities are not BottleDrop Redemption Centers and stores where the Express facilities are located and that are in the surrounding area must continue to machines and/or by hand counting. These stores may not require that a customer open an account to return containers at the store. DRCs must have their drop doors available for the return of G reen and B lue bags from 8 AM to 8 PM if the stores are open during those hours. BottleDrop account holders will not be charged a processing fee for bags deposited at a DRC, and those bags will n ot count toward the 15 bag per quarter limit for G reen B ags. However, DRCs may limit Green Bag returns to two bags per day. All other BottleDrop terms and conditions apply. Exc ept in cities with a population less than 10,000, the stores in the surroundi ng area must continue to accept 144 or 50 containers per person per day through the OLCC will update the list of redemption centers when it is notified that a new BottleDrop Express or DRC has open ed. The list can be found here . Notification is required within 14 days after a DRC has opened, so the OLCC’s redemption center l ist may not always be current. Customers c an also locate BottleDrop Redemption Centers, BottleDrop Express locations, and D ealer R edempt ion C enters ( partner retailers ) here . Why should I open a BottleDrop account? Having a BottleDrop account provides convenience. Account holders can drop off containers without having to feed them into a machine or wait for a hand count. Account holders may withdraw vouchers against the funds in their account to use at stores. A store designated as a PLUS location by OBRC allow s account holders to withdraw vouchers for use in the store that are worth 20% more at that store, giving customers 12 cents per container returned. Accounts are free to open, but bags are 2 0 cents each and sold in rolls of 10 at redemption centers and at BottleDrop Express retailers. The cost of bags bought at a customers will need to pay the retailer for bags purchased from a BottleDrop Ex press
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Page | 6 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) re tailer . There is a 40 – cent processing fee for each bag that is dropped off at a full – service redemption center or BottleDrop Express location , which will be deducted from the BottleDrop account. However, a processing fee is not assessed for bags dropped off at a Dealer Redemption Center. How do I access money from my BottleDrop account? Customers who deposit their containers into a reverse vending machine at a BottleDrop Redemption Center may collect cash for their contai ners at the redemption center or add the value of their redeemed containers to their BottleDrop account balance . BottleDrop account holders may access their funds and manage their accounts at kiosks located at BottleDrop Redemption Centers, at stores participating in a BottleDrop Red emption Center, and at retailers that house a BottleDrop Express. Where can I find a BottleDrop R edemption C enter , BottleDrop Express , or Dealer Redemption Center ? OLCC ha s approved 26 BottleDrop redemption centers around Oregon . To find a redemption center near you or retailers , see the Redemption Centers – Complete List posted on the OLCC Bottle Bill webpage . F or mo re information, including locations of Bottle Drop Express , DRCs, and PLUS retailers, go to the BottleDrop website . You can also view the application and public notice for pending redemption centers , if any , on the Bottle Bill web page . Who do I contact with a complaint about a BottleDrop Redemption Center? The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) owns and operates all BottleDrop Redemption Centers in Oregon. – 912 – 2019. You can also email the ir customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org . How do es a store participate in a BottleDrop R edemption C enter ? Oregon Law allows for Zone 1 is the sector within a radius of not more than two miles around the full – service redemption center. Zone 2 begins a t the border of Zone 1 and extends out to a radius of not more than 3 – 1/2 miles around the full – service redemption center. These distances are maximums , and full – service redemption center zones may not always extend to the full distance. Also, some full – service redemption center s only have a Zone 1. Stores that are 5,000 or more square feet in size that fall within either full – service redemption center zone may participate in the full – service redemption c enter by contracting with OBRC for a fee . These stores are not required to participate , but if they participate must provide equivalent services to those provided by the full – service redemption center , including but not limited to accepting 350 containers per person per day at all hours t he store is open, installing reverse vending machines, and providing a drop off service and associated accounting system. OLCC may approve a store for a n
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Page | 8 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) vending machine will have small square indentations or perforations and will be fairly symmetrically crushed, and bottles will have a crushed neck. Only one store in my town has reverse vending machines , and the machines are frequently broken. How am I supposed to return my containers? Retailers are not required to have reverse vending machines unless they are 5,000 or more square feet, in a full – service redemption center zone, and are not participating in the full – service redemption center. No retailers currently fall within this category . or are turned off * and the store is open, stores must hand count container returns. Stores must also hand count containers that qualify for redemption machines. C machines are wor king and there are lines, customer s need to wait for their turn. If someone notices a customer using a machine beyond the limit for that store (usually 50 or 144 , depending on department should be alerted. BottleDrop R edemption C enter ( a full – service redemption center) , a BottleDrop Express location , or a Dealer Redemption Center (see Where can I find a BottleDrop Redemption Center , BottleDrop Express , or Dealer Redemption Center ? ). I do with those containers? If a container is redeemable vending machine , the store must have staff hand count the container. Full – service r edemption centers will hand count up to 50 containers per person per day. A store refused to accept my container because it was dirty. Can they do that? If retailers have the required sign posted (see Do stores have to post any kind of sign about redeeming containers? ), they may refuse to accept containers that contain foreign objects or liquids other than water or the residue of the original contents, or are caked with dirt or another substance. C ustomers cannot be required to wash the ir containers . An auto shop that I use gives away bottles of water with their own company label. Oregon refund value. Is that okay? sold or offered for sale be labeled with the Oregon refund value. Beverages that are given away are not required to show the refund value. These con tainers will likely not be redeemable but may be recycled.
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Page | 9 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) Can a store require that cans and bottles be returned in any particular box or bag ? No, b ut staff may ask customers to remove their cans and bottles from the box or bag they brought the cans and bottles in and place them into a box or bag provided by the store. Can a store refuse to accept empty beverage containers because they are out of space to store the empties or are busy ? No t legally . There is no exception in Oregon law for not having storage space or for being busy or understaffed . However, a s with customers who have to wait to make purchase s , customers who are returning containers cannot always expect immediate attention. Can a store limit the hours or days that they acce pt container returns? No. Retailers that must accept containers (see How many containers can I redeem each day ? ) must a ccept them on all days and at all hours the store is open . If a store does not charge the customer a deposit, do es it have to accept container returns and/or pay a refund? Yes. The container must be accepted , and the Oregon refund value must be paid to the c ustomer even if the store did not charge a deposit . A store where I shop has reverse vending machines. The store will only cash out the slips on the same day the cans and bottles are deposited into the machine. Is this allowed? Yes. Stores with reverse vending machines may adopt a store policy that limits the time for cashing out slips from reverse vending machines. Stores should post their policy in their reverse vending machine area and/or on the slips themselves so that customers are aware of the policy and can plan their returns accordingly. I have a retail store and need to have my empties picked up. Who do I call? Distributors are required to pick up empty containers from retailers. If you r distributor is a member of OBRC , contact OBRC Route Operations at 503 – 973 – 6956 or email them at ROadmin@OBRC.com and leave a detailed message. They will use information from these messages to plan their routes. Contact your distr ibutor directly if it is not a member of OBRC. I have a reverse vending machine that needs service. Who do I call? Stores with reverse vending machines must do their own basic maintenance, including wiping down the tracks inside the machine a couple of times a day and emptying container bags as necessary. If maintenance is required beyond this basic maintenance, contact the vendor who you lease or bought your machine from. For machines ser viced by OBRC, please email FSAdmin@obrc.com , call them at 503 – 973 –
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Page | 10 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) 6969 , or use the OBRC Service Portal (if you are not familiar with Portal, please ask your OBRC Account Manager). I have a BottleDro p kiosk in my store that needs service. Who do I call? Stores with kiosks must do their own basic maintenance, like clearing simple jams and changing paper as necessary. If maintenance is required beyond this basic maintenance, call (503) 542 – 4224 or ema il email@example.com . A store where I shop offers a large bag that I can fill with containers up to a line. When I return the bag full of containers the store pays me a flat fee that is less than what I would get if I was paid 10 cents per container. Is this legal? Stores and distributors may offer this system as a convenient option for returning containers. However, the store or distributor may not refuse to hand count or to accept containers through their reverse vending machine if the c ustomer chooses not to return containers by this large bag system . I work with a non profit and we accept empty beverage containers as donation s . The store where I shop limits returns to 144 containers per person per day. Is there any place to return large amounts of containers so my charity can receive this money ? Upon request, some retailers will work with nonprofits and fundraisers to allow greater numbers of containers to be returned. Also, f undraising options, including a traditional can drive, setting up a B lue B ag fundraiser account , or u sing the regular G reen B ag drop – off program. For more information , go to https://www.bottledropcent ers.com/Give . What is the penalty for ? Business es that illegally refuse to accept containers are subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 . Each day a violation occur s constitutes a separate violation with a separate sanction . full – service redemption center or provide equivalent services? The sanction for a retailer failing to cure a violation by either participating in a full – service redemption center, providing equivalent services, or showing it is exempt from providing equivalent services to a full – service redemption center starts at $200.00. Each day a violation occurs constitutes a separate violati on with a separate sanction. The Oregon refund value must be clearly indicated on the label or container, but there are no requirements that it be in any specific font, size, or style. Labels and stickers indicating OR 10¢ must be firmly affixed. See I was charged a deposit on a bottle of kombucha OR 10¢ on it for the tempora ry exception to labeling requirements for kombucha and hard seltzer .
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Page | 11 BOTTLE BILL FAQs (Rev. July 2021 ) Are there any reporting requirements under the Bottle Bill? Distributors who sell redeemable beverages in sealed containers to retailers , including manufacturers who self – distribute through their tasting rooms, are required to report their sales and returns to OLCC and to register their beverages and report their beverage sales and return data to OBRC. Both OLCC and OBRC deadline s are usually in early spring . Questions about reporting requirements can be sent to OLCC.BottleBill@oregon.gov and ORBottleBillRegistration@obrc.com . Does the State of Oregon require an Initiator of Deposit registration? No. Generally, the dist ributor initiates the deposit when deliv ering beverages to a retailer. Were the refund value s raised to 10 cents in 2017 and were the new beverages added in 2018 to generate money for the State of Oregon? No. container returns. Who should I c ontact if I want more information or to make a complaint? OLCC Bottle Bill Program at 503 – 872 – 5132 or OLCC.BottleBill@oregon.gov
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