Oregon House passes bottle bill expansion by wide margin

2 Min Read
Oregon House passes bottle bill expansion by wide margin

[ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services • 2011-05-04 ]
By Ryan Kost, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

The Oregon House voted on May 4, 2011, to dramatically rework the state's 40-year-old bottle deposit system.

Just as it had in committee, the bill received wide bi-partisan support, passing with 47 votes in favor and 12 against.

The bottle bill expansion is one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation making its way through the capitol this year. Under the proposal, three key changes would take place:


1. It would expand the types of items covered to include just about any glass, metal or plastic beverage container, except for those that hold milk, wine or liquor.


2. It would also increase the current nickel deposit to a dime if redemption rates fall below 80 percent two years in a row.


3. Lastly, it would mark a shift from the in-store collection system to one that relies more heavily on off-site redemption centers.

On the House floor, Rep. Ben Cannon, a Portland Democrat and one of the bill's most vocal supporters, said this update was long overdue.

"The bottle bill turned out to be one of the most effective recycling tools ever devised," he said. But "as the bottle bill turns 40 this year it is showing signs of age. House Bill 3145 is an effort to bring the bottle bill into the 21st Century."

Rep. Vicki Berger, another strong supporter of the expansion and the daughter of the man who is largely credited for getting the original bottle bill into state law, spoke about the necessity of the bill.

Back when her father was lobbying for the legislation in 1971, Berger said, it was sold to Oregonians as a way to reduce litter. That was a big part of it, the Salem Republican said. But "it was really about resource management in a finite world.

"We have a resource management issue. So what does the Oregon bottle bill do? It interferes only with that last trip, the one to the landfill."

Only one lawmaker spoke against the legislation, Rep. Matt Wingard, R-Wilsonville. "I just don't think it's necessary to have language in there increasing the fee to 10 cents," Wingard said.

The legislation now moves to the Senate.



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