Centralized Bend Bottle Drop has pros, cons

Lines can be long; neighbors have some issues

Bend Bottle Drop

BEND, Ore. - The Bend Bottle Drop is one of the few places in the city where people are able to return their cans and bottles for their bottle deposit.

The site on Northeast Second Street is run by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, a group that aims to make it easy to recycle across the state.

Many people in Bend, though, have had a tough time when it comes to getting their deposit back, as many times the lines are long.

People also said they don't enjoy how dirty the location typically is.

Businesses say they have noticed a difference in the neighborhood ever since the Bottle Drop moved in.

They feel it attracts transients, and they have seen a lot of people camping nearby.

Bend resident Neal Gordon said he is now just prepared for the experience, and tries to stay positive about it.

"Going to the grocery stores used to be a real headache and, you know, they do a pretty good job here," Gordon said. "Sometimes there's lines, sometimes it's a little messy, but I think that's because of not having enough staff."

Jules Bailey, chief stewardship officer with the cooperative, said it's their main goal is to provide convenient locations for people to recycle and get their bottle deposit back.

He also said the group knows that sometimes returning bottles and cans can be a bit of an inconvenience, and they recognize those problems.

The group is constantly trying to come up with ways, such as its green bag bottle drop program, to speed things up.

Bailey also said the cooperative is trying to make sure that customers feel safe when they are in one of its locations.

"What we really want to make sure that we are doing is being good neighbors, and addressing any issues that arise," Bailey said. "So we would encourage people, as they see things, to let us know if there is an issue and we have staff that are ready to deal with it."

Bailey also said the group is looking into adding other locations in the Bend area to cut down on wait times.

The cooperative hopes to add what it calls "express locations," which are smaller, and cater to those who have an account with them. 

The Bend Bottle Drop wil also be extending its hours in the near future, staying open until 11 p.m., to give people more opportunities to drop off their recycling. There's also one in Redmond, on Southwest Lake Road.

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