I was at a neighborhood association meeting when I heard a representative from the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative share about BottleDrop. She informed us that in the beginning of March five major grocery stores in our town would be closing their bottling rooms. If you wanted to recycle bottles or cans you had to bring them to a new redemption center located less than one and a half miles from the five grocery stores.
My first reaction: “What a pain! Now I have to make an extra trip to drop off my cans and pop bottles.”
After a few visits to BottleDrop, I like the concept. The bottle rooms in the major grocery stores are often dirty not to mention small and congested. Pushing a cart with a baby and toddler in tow means careening around everyone else’s bottle filled carts. The machines break down often. There is a separate machine for glass, cans, and plastic bottles. So if you finish your cans and the plastic bottle machine is in use–you end up waiting in the small congested room trying to keep your shopping cart with a screaming toddler from blocking everyone else’s way.
At BottleDrop there are staff people walking around and constantly wiping down carts and machines. It is spacious and clean. The carts are not metal shopping carts–large plastic carts on wheels you bring right out to your car. You can put all your cans, bottles, and glass in the same machine. The machine automatically separates it into bins. You can redeem your cans for cash from an automated machine or staff member. You can even open an account and get a “bottle drop redemption card” instead of cashing out every single time.
The plus side is my kids love going! There are flashy signs everywhere that teach them about recycling. The employees are really helpful and friendly. There is a little window where my kids love to watch cans and bottles moving along a conveyor belt. It’s a perfect preschool field trip.