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OLCC temporarily halts bottle bill redemption requirements during ‘freeze’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Grocers and supermarkets will get a reprieve from complying with Oregon’s Bottle Bill redemption requirements starting Wednesday, when the “Statewide Freeze” begins.

The “Statewide Freeze” is designed to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 and places new conditions on how businesses can operate; grocery stores will be limited to new 75% capacity requirements.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission temporarily will not take enforcement action against Oregon retailers that choose not to accept the return of empty beverage containers for redemption. During the "Statewide Freeze" if stores don’t take back empty beverage containers, the OLCC will not issue them a notice of violation.

Retailers that choose to do so can still accept containers for redemption; there is no mandate that retailers not refuse containers. Even if stores choose not to accept container returns at this time a 10 cent deposit will still be assessed on the purchase of all eligible beverage containers.

BottleDrop® redemption centers, operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) will remain open. OBRC and retailers will also continue to operate BottleDrop® Express drop sites, and Dealer Redemption Centers. Consumers in communities without redemption centers should store bottles and cans until redemption services fully resume.

The redemption requirement reprieve is expected to last longer than two weeks in some parts of the state where the “Statewide Freeze” may remain in effect based on a county’s re-opening status.  Once a jurisdiction is no longer in the “Statewide Freeze” status retailers are required to begin accepting empty redeemable containers within five (5) days.

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