Some Oregon Stores Don't Have To Accept Bottle Returns

In an effort to help stores comply with capacity and operational restrictions, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will continue its non-enforcement posture for stores within both the "Extreme" and "High" risk levels, as defined by the Oregon Health Authority. The new risk levels are designed to be county specific in an effort to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19.

However, the redemption requirement reprieve will not remain in effect for stores in counties that are no longer in either the "Extreme" or "High" risk status. Stores in "Low" or "Medium" risk status are required to begin accepting empty redeemable containers within five (5) days of a county's change in status. Stores that do not operate 24 hours a day may limit their container return hours to 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, while stores that operate 24 hours a day may limit their container return hours to 7:00 am – 11:00 pm.

This chart outlines when stores will be required to begin redeeming containers under the state's Risk and Protection Framework.

The OLCC temporarily will not take enforcement action against Oregon retailers that choose not to accept the return of empty beverage containers for redemption while in either the "Extreme" or "High" risk levels.

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.

Source: OLCC