ANOTHER VOICE: Leos are 700,000 containers and counting

Two years ago, in this space, I was happy to report on the Leos first Saturday collection of deposit bottles and cans in the Rosauers’ parking lot. At that time, the project had collected 400,000 containers since its beginning in 2009. Now, two years later, I am happy to report that the Leos are still collecting beverage containers and those nickel deposits continue to add up. This month, the Leos surpassed 700,000 containers. That’s $35,000 worth of nickels — every dollar going back to local groups and activities in our community.

The Hood River Leos is a youth community service group affiliated with our local Lion’s Club. You’ll see members volunteering at various events throughout the community. Hood River is blessed to have many of our youths doing so many worthwhile activities.

The Leos now have much needed help during the first Saturday collection. When you drop off your bags or boxes of empty containers, you will likely see a mix of Leos, adult volunteers from the Lions Club and representatives from another local non-profit group. The Leos passes the money from its deposit container collection to local groups or activities, so the group receiving the money that month will have volunteers helping as well.

Recent recipients of funds from the monthly collections include the Fish Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Relay for Life, the Warming Shelter Project, the Cat Rescue, Hood River Valley Wrestling team, Hood River Valley Swim Team, Wy’east Middle School Outdoor School, Mt. Hood Town Hall, the March of Dimes and Adopt-a-Dog. This month, the Health Media Clubs from the high school and middle schools turned out many volunteers. What a pleasure to see so many youths volunteering on a Saturday morning.

The monthly deposit container collection program began six years ago when some Leos concluded many deposit containers (and their nickel deposits) were being thrown away and those nickels could be put to a good use. The youths concluded most people don’t like to use the machines to return their deposit containers, but many may be happy to donate them to a good cause if it were easy to do so. And, even if the containers were being recycled curbside or at a drop box, the nickel deposits that go along with these containers were still being lost to the community.

The monthly collection project increases beverage container recycling, keeps more of the nickel deposits in the community, and raises much needed funds for local groups and activities. That is a winning combination.

The monthly collection of deposit containers is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month in the Rosauers’ parking lot. The Leos collect aluminum, plastic and glass beverage containers that have a five cent deposit. These include beer, pop and water bottles, and beer and pop cans. Only deposit containers are accepted, so please do not bring Snapple, Gatorade, tea or juice containers, or wine bottles. It is also helpful to ensure the containers are empty and to separate the containers by material type.

Thanks to community and business support, the Leos deposit container collection has been huge success. If your group wants to be involved with a Leos collection and receive the associated funds, please contact Kristin Reese at 541 806 0278 or And we hope to see a bunch of new faces bringing containers on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Bob Danko, of Parkdale, has been assisting the Leos collection since the project began in 2009.

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