I just heard about plans to rework the Oregon return bottle bill. I swear you people would screw with the Hope diamond if you could.  The can return bill as it is is working great, we have one of the highest returns in the country.  There are very few returnable bottles lying around and there are people walking that pick a lot of them up too. 5¢ additional deposit on a returnable item is going to make negligible difference to the amount of garbage lying around (with a deposit) and it is going to be more of a pain in the ass for the average citizen.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  If you want to add some of the other containers to the law, that would be great, that is where the garbage comes from you see now, not the returnables.  Tweek the bill if you must, don't hit it with a sledge hammer.

Thanks for listening.

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Alan Bates had an answer pre-made concerning the bill.  Duno if that means he will look at what I sent or not.

Sen Bates

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Thanks for writing with your input.  Here is where things stand with the bottle bill.  In, 2007, Governor Kulongoski signed Senate Bill 707 into law, which added water bottles to the refund law. The law went into effect January 1, 2009.  Of the nine states that had bottle bill laws at that time, only Maine, California and Hawaii included water bottles.

The 2007 legislature also created a task force, charged with making recommendations for further updating of the Bottle Bill to the 2009 legislature - their recommendations are where any changes to the bottle bill came from.  The proposed bill would require deposits for bottles and cans containing sports drinks, coffee, tea, juice and similar non-carbonated drinks. Backers say the recycling rate for those items is abysmal, roughly 30 percent versus 80 percent for items covered by the bottle bill.  The bill would also double the 5 cent deposit, which has not increased since the bottle bill first passed in 1971.

If you have any issues with this proposal, please let us know.  Senator Bates does not sit on the committee that is hearing the bill right now, but he does sit on Ways & Means, which will hear the bill if it passes out of its current committee. He'd be happy to hear any additional comments.


Erin Fair
Policy Adviser
Senator Alan Bates, D.O.
District 3
503.986.1703