What would YOU do for a nickel?

8 Jul

Bless the Hood River Valley Leos Club, for saving us from the back half of Oregon’s vaunted bottle bill.

Yes, we love paying the nickel deposit per can or bottle, to incent ourselves to keep and return the cans and bottles. But no, we don’t love — a hate, in fact — the task of dragging the sorry pile of bags, clanking and clanging the truth of our beer (“Soda pop,” we tell people eyeing our bags) and more beer (“Bottled water!” we lie) consumption to everyone coming and going at Safeway and Rosauers.

While they pass, on their way to buy more cans and bottles, we insert them one by one by one by one ad infinitum and ad nauseum into machines that 1) are always about to reach capacity on our shift, 2) are always about to break down on our shift, 3) do not take green glass or brown plastic or cans that — whoops! — we purchased at another retailer.

However do YOU keep them straight? Separate bags? Sheesh.

How do you endure the whole ordeal — waiting for repairs, someone to empty the bins, gathering up all the reject containers for the recycling bins at home? I don’t. A couple of years ago, I just gave up and started putting all the cans and bottles in the recycling bins, which was the goal of the bottle deposits. I figured, who cares if I get $6 back for an hour’s agony at the can crusher?

Then I joined the Hood River Lions, and learned about the Hood River Valley Leos Club — a great group of kids that do all sorts of wonderful stuff. Led by Tom Schaeffer, the group had a nuclear brainstorm — take on the job of returning cans and bottles for the deposits. Use the deposit money for good stuff.

Ali Danko, chair of the recycling project, said that since last year, the group has raised more than $4,000, which it has “given to FISH, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Families in the Park, Relay for Life, the middle school music programs, the Lions (4th of July) fireworks fund.”

Now, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of every month, the Leos show up at the Rosauers parking lot and gladly take your bags (and bags) of cans and bottles. Mark the date on your calendar. You’ll be glad you did.

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