How Our Customers Are Helping

A BottleDrop employee receiving a bag of recyclables from a customer.
Making positive change one dime at a time
OBRC helps customers use their container refunds to strengthen communities and support their favorite causes

Easy options for generous Oregonians

Our customers make great things happen, and OBRC makes giving easy through several creative container donation options. Whether quickly responding to a crisis or natural disaster or helping support an organization’s ongoing fundraising efforts, OBRC is here to help.

Container Donations

Container donations have been part of Oregon’s Bottle Bill since the beginning, with local community organizations holding bottle and can drives to support their services. OBRC’s seamless statewide network has made these efforts easier, faster, and more effective than ever before, supporting the work of nonprofits, helping Oregon families succeed and boosting the efforts of organizations responding to emergencies, right when they happen.

We’ve developed easy, efficient ways for our customers to make a big impact, one bottle or can at a time.

BottleDrop Give Nonprofits

Through BottleDrop Give, thousands of Oregon nonprofits raise funds for their causes and services year-round. The program makes it easier than ever for Oregonians to support their favorite organizations through container donations, and it has become an important fundraising option for community groups across the state.

Customers can donate containers directly to participating nonprofit organizations, either through the Blue Bag program or through can and bottle drives, supported by our high-volume plant fundraising program. The refund value for those containers goes directly to the nonprofit’s BottleDrop account.

Additionally, BottleDrop Green Bag customers can donate directly to BottleDrop Give nonprofits through their online accounts. Account holders can transfer funds from their account balance to any of our thousands of participating nonprofits.

Learn more about BottleDrop Give.

Containers for Change Program

Our Containers for Change program makes it easy for BottleDrop Green Bag customers to support nonprofits, advocacy organizations and foundations (including the Oregon Community Foundation’s BottleDrop Fund) operating in the spirit of the Bottle Bill – reducing litter, providing environmental protection and education, solving problems through unique public private partnerships, helping vulnerable individuals and strengthening communities.

Customers who wish to participate in the Containers for Change program may simply leave their bag tag stickers off their Green Bags and drop them off at any BottleDrop bag drop location. The refund value of those bags benefits organizations supported by the program. Since launching Containers for Change, OBRC has directed donations to more than 100 nonprofit organizations.

Learn more about Containers for Change.

OBRC Emergency Fund

We launched the OBRC Emergency Fund in 2020 to help support our communities and neighbors during times of urgent need. When we activate the fund, we encourage our customers to donate their empty beverage containers at any BottleDrop Redemption Center and to make online transfers from their BottleDrop accounts to organizations that are on the front lines of a crisis.

The Emergency Fund was first used shortly after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, when many individuals and families were experiencing food insecurity. We activated the fund, made a call to action, and the generosity of Oregonians poured in. Collectively, our customers donated 2 million beverage containers with a refund value of $200,000 for the Oregon Food Bank.

Since then, we have engaged the fund to help raise money for other important causes, such as supporting rural firefighters during devastating wildfires, supporting Portland-based nonprofit Mercy Corps providing humanitarian relief services to Ukrainians, and funding warming shelters during extreme cold winter weather. Most recently, we activated the fund to raise $100,000 to support wildfire relief in Maui, Hawaii.

OBRC Emergency Fund Highlights

OBRC, BottleDrop customers raise money to support Maui United Way wildfire relief

In August 2023, we activated our emergency fund to help support wildfire relief in efforts in the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Having adopted the nation’s most recent Bottle Bill, Hawaii is a “sister state” to Oregon in employing a deposit return system to reduce litter and improve recycling outcomes. The donation was made to Maui United Way to help families and nonprofits directly impacted. A donation was also made to the Oregon Chapter of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

Outcome: $100,000 donated to Maui United Way
People relaxing on sofas and cots at an Oregon cooling center during a heat wave.
OBRC engages its emergency fund to support cooling shelters across Oregon

In July 2022, severe summer heat affected much of the state. We activated the fund to help support a total of 10 nonprofits across the state operating cooling centers and shelters in the following locations: Bend, Grants Pass, Independence, Klamath Falls, Milwaukie, Newberg, Portland, Roseburg, and Salem.

Outcome: $10,000 donated to 10 local nonprofit organizations
OBRC, BottleDrop customers raise $125,000 to support Mercy Corps’ Ukraine relief effort

In the spring of 2022, we activated our emergency fund to help the millions of Ukrainians who were displaced from their home by the war ravaging their county. The donation was made to Portland-based Mercy Corps, a leading global provider of humanitarian relief in time of crisis. Mercy Corps provided on-the-ground support and services for refugees and funded local organizations working to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs in the region.

Outcome: $125,000 donated to Mercy Corps
OBRC engages its emergency fund to support warming shelters across Oregon

In both February and December of 2021, extreme cold winter weather affected much of the state. We activated the fund to help support a total of 20 nonprofits across the state operating warming shelters in the following locations: Ashland, Astoria, Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass, Lebanon, Madras, Medford, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland, Redmond, Roseburg, Salem and Springfield.

Outcome: $28,000 donated to 20 local nonprofit organizations
Inspired by one person’s generosity, OBRC raises funds for Oregon Historical Society

When the Oregon Historical Society was damaged by vandalism in October 2020, a man named Oscar donated a dollar bill to help with repairs, along with a note that said, “Hello, I’m homeless so I don’t have much to give you, just some of my bottle collecting money. But I saw your windows got broken and I wanted to help. You once gave me a free tour before the pandemic, so this is a thank you!” Inspired by Oscar, we launched the fund again to raise funds for OHS to help with repairs.

Outcome: $15,000 donated to Oregon Historical Society
BottleDrop customers aid firefighters and community recovery

As wildfires devastated Oregon communities in late summer of 2020, we activated the OBRC Emergency Fund to support firefighting organizations. These nonprofits included: Albany Fire Fighters Community Assistance Fund; Ashland Firefighters Charitable Fund; Hoodland Volunteer Firefighters Association; Rocky Point Fire and EMS; Salem Fire Foundation; Sheridan Volunteer Firefighters Association; Sutherlin Firefighters Association; and Umatilla Volunteer Firefighters Association.

Outcome: $60,000 donated to eight local nonprofit organizations
OBRC launches Emergency Fund to help support Oregon communities

More than 860,000 people rely on Oregon Food Bank’s network each year, and food assistance needs rose with the COVID-19 pandemic. During the spring of 2020, we launched the OBRC Emergency Fund to help support our Oregon neighbors and communities with bottle and can donations from BottleDrop customers. As Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank said, “Together, we can prevent hunger from becoming a symptom of COVID-19.”

Outcome: $200,000 donated to Oregon Food Bank
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