Oregon bottle deposit system hits 90%

January 18, 2019, Oregon Public Broadcasting: "Oregon’s bottle deposit system is recycling more containers than ever before despite major disruptions in global recycling markets. Last year, Oregon recycled 90% of the beverage containers covered by its bottle deposit system... from 64% just two years ago and the total number of bottles recycled reached an all-time high of 2 billion in 2018.

Joel Schoening with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, which runs the state’s bottle deposit system, said the program isn’t suffering from the same problems as curbside recycling: because they "deal only in glass, plastic, aluminum, with very few exceptions we have a very clean recycling product, which makes it easier to sell and recycle domestically."

The new numbers reflect the recent expansion of the program to include more types of beverage containers... as well as an increase in the deposit value from 5 cents to 10 cents. Peter Spendelow with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said the success of the bottle deposit system proves that deposits can work to incentivize proper recycling, but it isn’t the solution for everything that’s going in curbside bins."

Oregon recently commemorated their passage of the first bottle bill in the U.S. in 1971 with a new sculpture.