Nickels and dimes

Cubes of crushed cans stand on a pallet in the back of the BottleDrop facility in Hermiston in 2018.

BottleDrop customers can donate their can and bottle deposits to firefighting efforts in Oregon.

The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative announced customers can drop off their containers and ask that the deposits on the containers be donated, or if they have money on their BottleDrop card from past deposits they can log in to their account and donate money from there.

Last week, OBRC, the beverage recycling cooperative that owns the Hermiston BottleDrop, stated it had already donated $40,000 to eight different organizations that support firefighting efforts and communities around the state. They include: Umatilla Volunteer Firefighters Association, Albany Firefighters Community Assistance Fund, Ashland Firefighters Charitable Fund, Hoodland Volunteer Firefighters Association, Rocky Point Fire and EMS, Salem Fire Foundation and Sheridan Volunteer Firefighters Association.

“Right now, we all need to pull together and do whatever we can to help the brave men and women out there working around the clock to keep us all safe,” Jules Bailey, chief stewardship officer and director of external relations for OBRC, said in a statement. “As an organization with a presence in communities across Oregon, OBRC is committed to doing our part.”

In addition to OBRC’s donation, the cooperative has made it easy for Oregonians to support the above organizations by donating their can and bottle deposits to them. Customers can do so by bringing in loose containers to any BottleDrop Redemption Center or by donating directly from their BottleDrop accounts.

OBRC already had an emergency fund set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and donated $25,000 to the Oregon Food Bank in May directly, accompanied by $75,000 in container deposits donated by OBRC customers.

According to the news release, some OBRC employees in Southern Oregon have been evacuated and the cooperative’s facility in White City has closed temporarily.

OBRC recycles more than 1.8 billion bottles and cans each year, according to the news release, through BottleDrop centers and pickups from more than 2,500 retail locations throughout the state.

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