Making Sense of Cents
With so many different kinds of containers and retailers in Oregon, getting into the habit of redeeming your bottles and cans can seem a little daunting. Fortunately, when you know your nickel, it's easy! Here's everything you need to know about making sense of cents.
Redeemable containers include water, flavored water, beer or other malt beverages, mineral water, soda water, and carbonated soft drinks. But the only way to know for sure is to look on the container for the OR 5¢ mark, which is often found on the label or lid. Just remember, only containers purchased in Oregon are returnable.
Currently sports drinks, juices, and teas are not redeemable, but in 2011, legislation was passed to include all beverages except wine, liquor, milk, and milk substitutes, which will go into effect in January 2018. Containers purchased out of state are not redeemable.
You can redeem bottles and cans any place they're sold, but that doesn't mean you have to return them to the place you bought them. Here are the details:
Reverse vending machines work by scanning the barcode of the bottle or can you're returning. This scan verifies that the item is redeemable, and identifies the size and type of container. If the barcode on your bottle or can is damaged, dirty, or missing, the container can't be returned. In rare instances of newly released products, the barcode may not have been added to the machine's database yet, and in this event you can take the container to a store representative for your deposit.
Bottle and can drives are a great way to raise money for your community, and there are lots of resources to help incorporate fundraising into your next event. Information on organizing fundraisers can be found on our outreach page here.