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What We Do

Oregon State laws and administrative rules require that retailers who sell beverages accept eligible empty containers from consumers who return them for a refund. Distributors are then required to pick up those containers and reimburse the retailer for refunds paid to the public. In order to make this system more efficient and cost-effective, a co-op of distributors, called OBRC, was formed. OBRC picks up returned containers at stores across Oregon and reconciles deposits on behalf of distributors.

At each store, an OBRC driver records the container count and pays the outstanding deposit amount. The containers are then taken to one of eight recycling facilities across the state for processing. Daily production crews process nearly 25,000 truckloads of containers each year.

Empty containers arrive in the warehouse in either plastic bags or totes. They are unloaded, and placed onto conveyor lines to be processed through mechanized sorting and counting devices.

All aluminum containers are crushed, baled, and transported to recycling smelters for use in the production of new beverage cans.

Plastic bottles are perforated, crushed, baled, and transported to ORPET, Oregon’s first PET recycling facility. By partnering with ORPET, OBRC is able to decrease resource expenditure by keeping plastic materials here in the northwest. Not only does ORPET keep 13 million pounds of plastic out of landfills each year, it also provides local manufacturers with recycled product. After processing the bottles into clean flake, ORPET sells the materials to recyclers who make strapping, plastic clamshells, and polyester fiber for carpet, filler, and clothing; or most recently to one of the new FDA–approved bottle-to-bottle facilities.

Glass is crushed, sorted, and transported to a local glass recycler to be made into new glass bottles resulting in 100 million pounds of glass being recycled each year.

The system is accurate, efficient and environmentally friendly. We make sure nothing slips through the cracks or goes to waste and that all of the bottles and cans are recycled.