Recycling Machines Prove Popular

November 15, 2010

Recycling made fun & easy!   A pair of new machines has residents lining up to do their own labor at Reedsport Safeway.

   Cans and bottles go in to the rumbling, clanking machines. Out come tickets tabulating the total number of containers, worth 5 cents each.

   Recycling machines have been well utilized since they were installed earlier this year at the store.

  A spokesman for the Pleasanton, Calif.-based corporation said that so-called reverse vending machines have become increasingly common at Oregon grocery stores  after state bottle legislation expanded to include water bottles.

  “Really, we just saw a significant increase in volume,” said Safeway public affairs director Dan Floyd.

   Before this year’s remodel of Reedsport Safeway, employees counted returned containers by hand. That means bottles were sometimes placed in grocery carts, and then  pushed or dragged through the building to a back storage area.

  “Any time someone puts containers into their cart and pushes that through the store, we run the risk of being unsanitary,” Floyd said.  He said part of the company’s   objective when it started remodeling Safeway stores was to move can and bottle sorting outside.  Sorting outside leaves more room inside for merchandise, Floyd said. It also  frees up employees.

  The state Legislature expanded Oregon’s bottle bill in 2007 to include water and flavored water containers. The bill also removed limits on what brand beverage containers stores could accept.   That means Safeway refunds the deposit paid on competing store-brand bottles. “We redeem more than what we sell,” Floyd said.

  Bottle return provides a profitable business for third-party recyclers. Safeway in Oregon is part of a co-op recycling service that provides recycling machines and takes away the crushed materials.

Floyd did not say if the reverse vending machines at Reedsport Safeway has increased the number of bottles this store receives. He did say most stores see more people returning containers when machines are installed. Judging by the amount of time each day the machines are being used, however, store empoyees and shoppers feel returns must be way up.

Under state law, businesses accepting cans and recyclable bottles only have to accept 144 containers from each customer each day. But Safeway, as a general rule, does not turn customers away.

“We try not to,” Floyd said. “I don’t want to encourage people to make us a recycling center, but we do try to accommodate our loyal customers and nonprofits.”

But considering the issue of improved sanitation, Floyd said, reverse vending machines are definitely an improvement. “By not having that employee doing hand sorting, there certainly is a business advantage for us and the customer,” he said.

As published by

For more information on the new OneStop Tri-Cycler, please contact


Study: Self-Service Trumps ‘Live’ Service – Retail News.

November 8, 2010

Interesting article regarding self-service vs. live-service. RVM’s are an example of automation that most customers prefer over having a store clerk  come and hand count bottle/can returns.  However, as the study in the article references, is the self-serve option providing the level of customer experience that would have customers feel pleased with their over all shopping experience?   The researcher’s concluded in part that customers do not want a “relationship” with companies, which is why they seek out self-service over having a live-service.  I would argue that customers  preceive their experience is the relationship. Poor experience whether it is at an automated machine or with a human being will negatively impact how the customer feels about their over all relationship with the store.   Conversely, a  positive experience, again whether it is with a machine or a person, will breed customer loyalty.

What are your thoughts?

Study: Self-Service Trumps ‘Live’ Service – Retail News..

Another reason why bottle bills are the answer

June 1, 2010

From the blog

Monday, May 31, 2010

Single-Stream Recycling Controversy

In December, 2009 the Container Recycling Institute issued Understanding Economic and Environmental Impacts of Single-Stream Collection Systems, a comprehensive white paper documenting the controversy with single-stream recycling. The impressive paper is well researched and worth the read for those concerned about the ultimate destination of good-hearted recycling efforts.

From the bottom of page 16, here is copy differentiating between recycling and downcycling:

It is important to understand that diversion from disposal is not recycling. Collection is not recycling. A product is not recycled until it is made into another product. Broken glass used as landfill cover is ―downcycled‖ into one use only. Closed-loop recycling occurs when a product can be made and remade infinitely, such as recycling containers back into aluminum cans and glass and PET bottles.

The two major contaminants in the recycling stream are organic matter and glass. From page 20, here is copy discussing glass in the recycling stream:

Historically, one of the greatest challenges in single-stream collection has been glass. It is virtually impossible to prevent glass from breaking as it goes to the curb, is dumped in the truck, gets compacted, gets dumped on the tipping floor of the MRF, is repeatedly driven over by forklifts, and is dumped on conveyor belts to be processed by the MRF. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that glass collected in single-stream systems will be used for its highest closed-loop application—glass bottles or fiberglass. Unless there is beneficiation capacity nearby, which can clean the glass to recyclers’ specifications, single-stream glass will be downcycled to a use that is far less desirable in terms of energy conservation, avoided emissions and other high-end benefits. The most likely end uses for mixed cullet from a MRF is sandblasting base, aggregate material, or Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) for landfills.

The ZWZ team is working on creating an economic model for separated glass recycling. Strong demand for the recycled glass and collection infrastructure are the two main challenges. Once a viable system is developed ZWZ participants who serve alcoholic beverages will be required to separate glass for recycling collection. Stay tuned for developments.

Posted by Holly Elmore at 10:17 AM


Bottle deposit bill sees renewed interest in state –

March 12, 2010

Is Minnisota going from snow white to GREEN?

Bottle deposit bill sees renewed interest in state –

Grocery Store Survey

January 18, 2010

Are you a retailer in a bottle bill state? We want to hear from you!!  Please take this anonymous survey so that we can better understand your specific needs.  Please contact Kelly at with any questions.

Thank you!

CRI Explores System-Wide Costs and Results of Various Recycling Methods Releases New Report, “Understanding Economic and Environmental Impacts of Single-Stream Collection Systems”

December 8, 2009

 The Container Recycling Institute has undertaken a study of the impacts of single-stream collection of residential recyclables, with a particular focus on the economic and environmental impacts of this collection method on the final material sent to end-markets for remanufacturing. To date, the impacts on various collection methods—source-separated curbside, commingled curbside, deposit/return—on the quality of materials destined for recycling have not been formally researched and documented. In fact, rarely is “material quality” or the “end-destination” of the material considered by government decision-makers when choosing an appropriate recycling system. CRI selected Clarissa Morawski, principal of CM Consulting, to research the issue. Ms. Morawski is a leading expert on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and has authored numerous reports on beverage container recovery systems. For this study, Ms. Morawski reviewed 60 previously-published studies, reports and articles in trade magazines. Ms. Morawski was interested to find that, as a result of the struggling economy and plunging market prices for recyclables, she is seeing increased market sensitivity to quality issues. “End markets are really starting to quantify their economic losses from poor quality of material, and from a qualitative perspective, they feel this problem is very serious indeed and could have an impact on any future investments of capital to increase capacity of secondary feedstock.” The report finds that there are many negative downstream impacts of contaminated feedstock due to the mixing of materials through single-stream curbside collection. “Basically, the report confirms that you can’t unscramble an egg,” explains CRI Executive Director Susan Collins. “Once the materials are mixed together in a single-stream recycling system, there will be cross-contamination of materials and significant glass breakage. Those cross-contamination and breakage issues then result in increased costs for the secondary processors.” This report attempts to quantify those costs, but the study acknowledges that there is a need for more comprehensive data. “Nor are costs calculated on an apples-to-apples basis, because the tons that are handled through various recycling systems are not necessarily the same as the tons recycled” Collins observed. “If you take the contaminants out of the equation, the cost per ton recycled increases. With such high contaminant levels, some of these recycling systems are merely shifting costs to the paper mills, aluminum manufacturers, glass beneficiation facilities and glass manufacturers, and plastics recyclers.” The report is available for download on the CRI web site: Contacts: Clarissa Morawski, Report Author: (416) 682-8984 Susan V. Collins, CRI Executive Director: (310) 559-7451

CBSI Receives 2009 Best of Milwaukie Award

July 9, 2009

Press Release


CBSI Receives 2009 Best of Milwaukie Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 — CBSI has been selected for the 2009 Best of Milwaukie Award in the Recycling Equipment & Systems category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

U.S. Commerce Association


Can recycling be profitable?

February 26, 2009

Absolutely! Of course it depends on your personal definition of profit. In Bottle Bill States (states that currently require a deposit is placed on all beverage containers), the collection and redemption of other people’s used beverage containers may be a profitable enough enterprise. Others may want to open an redemption center. Some of the bottle bill states require a handling fee of 1 to 3 cents per container (paid by the distributor) as a way to cover the cost of the redemption system. Grocery stores can also see a small profit from the accurate accounting of the containers they redeem. Or at least stop losing money due to miscounting that occurs through hand counting, or the payment of X amount per bag. Click here for an interactive look at the profitability of owning a Reverse Vending Machine.

(Based on NY handling fee. Not all bottle bill states offer a handling fee. To learn if your state does, visit

 Change weekly total to see revenue estimates. Price of OneStop Jr. is an estimate and not a quote. Actual price may differ. This is for education purpose only).

Meet Jr. at the MPA/MACS Spring Tradeshow

February 6, 2009

Come meet Jr! The OneStop Reverse Vending Machine designed specifically for the smaller retail / convenience store.  Jr. will demonstrate his amazing can & bottle crushing, counting and sorting abilities at the MPA/MACS Spring Tradeshow, Booth 404, March 31 – April 2, 2009, DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids Michigan.   Stop by and see how this savant of the RVM set performs!

OneStop Jr.

January 27, 2009

Can & Bottle Systems, Inc. (CBSI) Announces Partnership with

New Statewide Recycling CO-OP.

Portland, Oregon – In 1971 Oregon became known as the first Bottle Bill State by enacting The Beverage Container Act. The law requires a 5¢ deposit on all beer, malt and carbonated soft drink containers. As of January 1, 2009 that law was expanded to include bottled water. The law also requires that all retail stores redeem every container, regardless of brand, if they sell the same type of beverage.

Although the expansion of the law is great news for the environment, it created logistical challenges for the beverage and grocery retail industry. To meet these challenges, most of the beverage distributors doing business in the state of Oregon have formed the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC).

OBRC operates a statewide pick-up and processing program. As part of the program, over 300 retailers throughout Oregon utilize reverse vending machines (RVM). The data collected from RVM’s are compiled to reconcile the estimated 80 million pounds of redeemed containers every year. To handle the CO-OPs RVM needs, OBRC has partnered exclusively with CBSI, an American owned and operated RVM manufacturer. Headquartered in Portland Oregon with offices in Iowa and Michigan, CBSI has been manufacturing RVM’s since 1992. With accounts reaching from Hawaii to Maine, CBSI provides quality recycling machines for the bottle redemption process.

“CBSI is uniquely equipped to handle the demands of the Oregon Bottle Bill. We are very proud to partner with OBRC, the first statewide CO-OP of its kind in the country,” said Bill Janner, President of CBSI.

To learn more about CBSI or OBRC, visit their websites at and