I read the article about how bottles now have a 10-cent deposit because people were returning fewer beverage bottles at 5 cents. Medford has helped make this problem worse. There are no more bottle returns in the local markets in town. There must be some place in town that takes back bottles. Can you help?
— Jackie A., Eagle Point
Why, yes, we can, Jackie, and happy to do so (even though we more or less answered the same question sometime ago). And, just to be fair, we should note it's really not Medford's fault.
Here's a synopsis of what we wrote in September 2015:
A state law, ORS 459A.737, created redemption centers and “convenience zones,” which allows stores within 3.5 miles of a redemption center to opt out of or limit accepting bottle (and can) returns. Medford has a redemption center at 1179 Stowe Ave., which is just south of the intersection of Rossanley Drive and North Ross Lane in northwest Medford. That puts virtually all of Medford west of Foothill and North Phoenix roads in that radius, along with much of Central Point.
Stores are able to limit their acceptance of containers based on which convenience zone they’re in. The first convenience zone extends for a radius of 2 miles around the redemption center. The second zone extends to 3.5 miles. Grocery stores within the first zone can decline to accept bottles or cans from customers. In the second zone, stores can refuse to accept more than 24 bottles or cans.
Outside the zones, stores of 5,000 or more square feet must accept up to 144 bottles or cans per day and stores of less than 5,000 square feet must accept up to 50 containers.
Redemption centers will accept up to 350 containers per person per day. In Southern Oregon, there are also redemption centers in Grants Pass and Klamath Falls.
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