1. lot more than a nickel in the


In efforts to exemplify the case on How Old Bottles Create New Jobs – Both Legal
and Not; I will be
examining the ways of how the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Oregon,
surveyed and evaluated the passing of a bottle deposit law that led to
the first recycling program in the United States.

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“In 1971 Oregon became the first state to pass a bottle deposit law that
led to the first container recycling program.” (Shalfritz, 2017). The purpose of this bill was to
tackle the substantial issue of litter across the state of Oregon. This was
recognized by Governor Tom McCall, who during his term saw the extensive need
for litter removal and use in Oregon. While working for a solution, an
interim legislative committee worked on the issue of litter and throwaway
containers and tried to find a viable solution. After several hearings and
personal testimonies, the committee presented nine legislative acts in efforts
of solving this problem. (DEQ, 2017).


The program had a very successful
beginning, but in the start of 2011, the bottle and can exchange dropped almost
10 percent. The bill committee, now seeing this drastic drop, will now raise
the deposit to a dime to keep the project running successfully. Unfortunately,
due to the quality of money fluctuation, a nickel back then, is worth a lot
more than a nickel in the present day. “According to the Portland Consumer
Price Index, a nickel in 1971 would be equal to about 28 cents in buying power
in 2010. If deposits had kept up with inflation, the deposit on a six-pack
would be about $1.66 today rather than 30 cents.” (DEQ, 2017). This, to many
may seem like a small increase, can potentially be worth 30 million dollars a

To give more information on the
subject, if a customer returns the bottle or can to a Bottle Drop location after its use, the consumer will receive the
deposit (5-cents or now 10-cents due to the upcoming raise). On the other hand,
“If the consumer tosses the empty container in a curbside recycling bin or the
trash, the distributor gets to keep the deposit. That happens with 35 percent
of all containers sold—more than 600 million in 2015.” (Jaquiss, 2017).

Many efforts have been in
effect to track the progress of this bill. For example, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)
determined that the if the rate of returned bottles fell below 80 percent for
two, more recent, consecutive years, the refund would increase to 10 cents,
instead of the original 5 cents. OLCC also agreed to begin the works of
building a redemption center that would be larger than the cooperatives
existing centers. If successful, the model would be used to build a system of
redemption centers throughout the state of Oregon to help make the process more
convenient to residence. Alongside adding improvements to help the system flow,
research has been proven that the Bottle Bill has been very effective. “A savings of $656,832 in trash
pick-up, hauling and landfilling was reported the first year after enactment.”
(Container Recycling Institute, 2007-2016).According to the DEQ, their reports
show that Oregon’s bottle bill had a positive effect on the recycling of other
materials through increased public awareness and education.


Due to the continuous progress of this bill,
information is constantly changing. To find information regarding the history
and foundation of the bill, the information was easily found while researching
the history of Oregon. The Bottle Bill is
an achievement that Oregon holds near to their hearts and was built on a sturdy
foundation of priding themselves for taking the first step towards a solution. Other
information was retrieved by researching recent articles and PR related
articles on the current and future changes of bill and how it will affect those
actively engaged.


I believe that this program is still in the
early stages of renovation. Due to the new changes, many statistics and
policies could be considered outdated or no longer relevant. Evaluations on the
bill and the new additions will become more prominent once the new initiative
have been in place for an appropriate and researched amount of time. A personal
recommendation I would make is to educate the public of the benefits of
recycling at redemption centers. I believe that many residents are truly in the
dark and are unaware of this program and how it could be a personally benefit


With the evaluation of this case, I was able
to learn more about an issue I am personally passionate about. The transition
of this bill is still a working process. The government is using a “trial and
error” method for research on the pros and cons of this initiative. More
primary research and an additional research memo should be made once new
policies are in effect.