I remember reading that Oregon's bottle and can deposit was going to go up to 10 cents this year, but I haven't seen any evidence of that when I take my cans and bottles back to the store. Has that increase been put on hold?
— Cathy L., Medford
The bottle and can deposit is going to go up this year, Cathy, but not until April 1. At that point, the deposit for each container will double from 5 cents to 10 cents.
Not everyone is happy about that, but consumers share in the blame for the increase. For the first 15 years after Oregon passed its "Bottle Bill" in 1971, return rates exceeded 90 percent, which also meant trash along roads and in landfills declined. That number dropped to about 75 percent by 2011, prompting the Legislature to pass a measure that would boost the deposit to 10 cents if the returns fell below 80 percent for two consecutive years.
Well, that didn't seem to have much effect. In 2014, the return rate was about 68 percent, and in 2015 it was 64 percent. So the cost of your six-pack will go up by 30 cents in April. The idea is that more people will take the time to return bottles if they get more for their effort.
And that's the good news, Cathy. If you do your part to recycle your cans and bottles, you'll get that 30 cents back when you make your next trip to the store or recycling center.
— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.