PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's recycling program has doubled to 10 cents its payout for used soda cans and glass bottles.
The state was the first in the nation to give 5-cent refunds for cans and bottles more than 45 years ago.
It decided to increase the refund in an effort to boost recycling. The new 10-cent rate took effect Saturday, and officials with the state's recycling program are expecting a busy weekend.
Oregon's groundbreaking 1971 Bottle Bill was replicated in nine other states and Guam. But return rates recently dropped below 70 percent, triggering the refund hike as required by law.
Naysayers, meanwhile, say it's bad policy that private-sector industry pockets the unredeemed refunds - around $30 million in 2015 - during a budget crisis in Oregon, where jobs and taxes are on the line to help close a whopping $1.6 billion deficit.