Why let ten-cent increments of money get away from me? The BottleDrop Green Bag program

A few things came together recently.  One is that my company did some work for OBRC, and I learned of the existence of the Green Bag program. The second is that the bottle deposit rate went from five cents to ten cents. (Since 1971, if it had kept up with inflation, it would be around $0.25 now).  Plus, Matt started drinking Propel, which is water with something in it.  Also, my company started providing bottled kobucha for its employees.  That also has a bottle deposit on it.*

Thus, I started looking at five kombucha bottles in the work recycling bin and thinking, “That’s like fifty cents.  That’s real money.”  In junior high, when we were introduced to the magic of vending machines (also known as: FuSESKiJuK Funding School “Extras” by Selling Kids Junk Food) candy bars were fifty cents and thus forever more fifty cents will always be my “real money” threshold.

There’s a lot not to like about redeeming bottles.  For me, the number one thing is the smell.  I’m not a hugely smell-sensitive person, but the combination of elderly beer/soda dregs really turns my stomach.  Plus, there’s the time it takes to actually redeeming, which is another step in my very full days.

Happily, the Green Bag Program exists.  For this program, you visit a BottleDrop center, open an account, and purchase 15 bags for $1.50.  Then, you fill them and drop them off at any BottleDrop center.  You don’t even have to go inside.  They have an outside drop place that can be accessed before and after hours by using your card. Then, employees at the center redeem the bottles and cans for you and credit your account.  This costs $0.25.  So for $0.40 (four bottles) I can avoid most of the problems I have with redeeming.  Plus, if you cash in your credit at specific stores (Fred Meyer is one) you get $0.12 per bottle and not $0.10.

I’m excited about this program, especially because I’m collecting bottle redemptions on items I haven’t paid the deposit on.  It’s free money for me!

*It turns out that kombucha has been ruled “juice” and thus should not have a deposit on it.**  I’ll keep collecting those bottles until the label changes and I can’t redeem them any longer.

**The weirdness of what does and does not have a bottle deposit bugs me.

2 thoughts on “Why let ten-cent increments of money get away from me? The BottleDrop Green Bag program”

  1. This is a great idea! I used to redeem cans/bottles, but honestly have no idea where to do so where I currently live, so I just put my cans in the recycling bin, which is occasionally rifled through by our local homeless guy (although he rarely wanders this far into the neighborhood). Also, I don’t have many drink cans/bottles anymore since we cut out soda & rarely drink alcohol. But if I did, and this was available where I live, I would use it!

    1. I have just done research and it seems that your state has no deposits on bottles or cans. So you would be redeeming them the Idaho way we both grew up with, which I also wouldn’t bother to do.

      But ten cents per bottle that I didn’t pay? Too much money to pass up.

      As an update, since it has turned colder, people at work have slacked off on the kombucha drinking and Matt has slacked off on the Propel drinking, so I have’t been able to collect as much as I did when I started this project.

      Also I’m amused that your neighborhood homeless guy is singular, as we have a parade of homeless guys come by our house. A perk of living in a very cold place (that also may do better with affordable housing than the Portland area does.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *