BottleDrop pic

Beginning today (June 7), BottleDrop Oregon Redemption Center hosts a Hidden Bottle Hunt, during which six golden bottles are hidden throughout the state. Those who locate the bottles are eligible to direct a $500 donation in their name to a nonprofit organization of their choice in commemoration of the Oregon “bottle bill’s” 50th anniversary. (Courtesy photo)

OREGON — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of Oregon’s original “bottle bill,” the first of its kind in America, beginning today and running through Sunday, the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative is hosting a Hidden Bottle Hunt.

One gold-colored bottle is placed in a public park in each of six regions throughout the state, and BottleDrop Oregon Redemption Center will release separate clues, hinting at the location of each bottle during the life of the contest or until each bottle is claimed. Lincoln County falls under Zone 2, which also includes Benton, Linn, Lane, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties.

After locating one of the bottles, contest participants then follow directions attached to it, and BottleDrop will direct a $500 donation from the Containers for Change program to a nonprofit organization of the participant’s choice from a list of more than 3,000 participating organizations throughout the state.

“We are really working to engage Oregonians to get outside with the family, enjoy cracking the clues, celebrate the special places the bottle bill helps keep litter-free, and direct some cash to excellent nonprofits,” Eric Chambers, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative external relations director, said.

Rules for Hidden Bottle Hunt include the following:

•Do not trespass on private property

• Do not go inside any buildings — all bottles are hidden outdoors

• Do not dig for bottles or damage/destroy plants or structures — bottles aren’t hidden in community garden spaces

• Abide by posted park hours on any public property

For the complete official rules and regulations, go to

Each bottle includes a unique bottle bill 50th anniversary label and a metal emblem honoring the milestone. Bottles are wrapped to prevent breakage and covered in a burlap sack for protection.

“We’re very excited to help Oregonians celebrate one of Oregon’s greatest policy achievements by getting outside, enjoying the far reaches of the state, and having fun,” Chambers, a Toledo native, wrote in an email last week to the News-Times. 

The bottle bill, the first-of-its-kind statewide container-deposit legislation, passed in 1971 and was enacted in October the following year. It requires that specific glass, plastic or metal cans or bottles sold in the state be returnable for a minimum refund. In April 2017, the state increased the deposit refund from 5 to 10 cents.

To learn more about the contest, visit

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