PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon was the first state in the nation to give 5-cent refunds for recycling used soda cans and glass bottles more than 45 years ago.
Now, in an effort to boost recycling, this eco-trailblazing state is doubling that refund.
Oregon's groundbreaking 1971 Bottle Bill was replicated in nine other states, plus Guam. But return rates recently dropped below 70 percent_triggering the refund hike as required by law.
The new 10-cent rate goes into effect Saturday, and the most frugal of Oregonians have been hoarding bottles for months in anticipation of the roll-out.
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.