Recycling on wheels: HR Lions set up mobile stations

People wishing to easily recycle deposit-value beverage containers have a 24/7 option.

The Hood River Lions Club is expanding can and bottle drop-off options through the use of trailers that will eventually be sited around Hood River and the upper valley.

The first trailer was situated last month on the west end of the parking lot at the Hood River Supply store on 12th Street in Hood River.

At any time of day, people can drop off deposit-value beverage containers at the trailer. The Lions note the importance of the deposit-value qualifier. The trailer is meant only to collect containers that carry the mandated 5-cent deposit paid at purchase.

Recycling of non-deposit containers can be done through curbside pickup or directly at the transfer station on Guignard Drive.

Under Oregon law, the 5-cent deposit applies to beer, soft drink, water and flavored water beverages in metal, glass and plastic bottles and cans of 3-liter or smaller capacity.

To make sure, look on the label for the words “OR 5¢”. Only containers purchased in Oregon may be returned for deposit at the Lions Club trailer.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality, Oregonians return more than one billion beverage containers every year.

Because returning containers at local stores can be a tedious and messy job, the Lions Club envisioned an easier solution that would help serve the community.

For several years, the Hood River Valley Leos Club — a Lions affiliate club for young people — has been conducting deposit-value container collections on the first Saturday of each month. The Hood River Lions encourages people who have been supporting the Leos to continue doing so.

The Hood River Lions Club, however, realized that it isn't always easy for dedicated bottle-deposit donators to remember that date. The club also believes far more deposit containers can be collected if opportunities are expanded. The Club is working with other property owners to secure trailer sites.

“We wanted to provide time-strapped people an option,” said Dave Waller, president of the Lions Club. “In exchange, we will be working with Opportunity Connections to sort, bag and recycle those containers.”

Proceeds from redemption of donated cans and bottles will be shared with Opportunity Connections. The portion retained by the Lions Clubs will offset collection costs and add to the annual contributions the club makes to local service and youth projects.

In addition to that benefit, the effort to expand container collections has an environmental benefit, Waller noted.

According to the DEQ, container collections around Oregon saved three trillion BTUs of energy, equivalent to the amount of energy in 24 million gallons of gasoline. That recycling also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents — equal to the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 40,000 cars.

For more information about the Oregon Bottle Bill and deposits, visit the Know Your Nickel web site ( prepared by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.

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