THE PEOPLE's DEPOT
A program of Ground Score
The People’s Depot is a trial mobile bottle return service reaching individuals in need of critical sources of income at a time when access to cash is limited due to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s suspended enforcement of the state’s Bottle Bill. Currently, The People’s Depot operates alongside weekly harm reduction outreach services in North Portland. The location is not disclosed and not open to the general public* in an effort to protect the participants who rely on these services.
Bottle and can deposits are a critical source of income for many members of our community to cover basic human needs such as food, housing costs, bus passes and laundry. Informal recyclers often exist on slim economic margins, and the COVID-19 crisis has magnified economic instability. Despite the added risk of COVID-19, individuals are still collecting beverage containers for deposits, and many do not have the option to safely store containers, or transport containers in a vehicle to open redemption centers. By “stacking” bottle return with other social services, The People’s Depot both supports individual health and well-being, and helps preserve community safety in a time when all are encouraged to minimize travel.
*The general public is welcome to take their beverage containers to OBRC’s emergency bottle return service at 3900 NW Yeon Avenue, which operates seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm, or to any of the regular BottleDrop sites, which remain open. See below for more information.
In its first weeks of operation, the People's Depot has:
Served over 200 individuals with direct stipend distribution
created 8 low-barrier job opportunities
Distributed $4000 to those in need
Collected and processed over 30,000 beverage containers for recycling
At this time, the general public is unable to bring their own bottles and cans to TPD locations. The general public is welcome to take their beverage containers to OBRC’s emergency bottle return service at 3900 NW Yeon Avenue, which operates seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm, or to any of the regular BottleDrop sites, which remain open. Find your closest BottleDrop location here.
For more information about The People's Depot, please email the Ground Score Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
To better meet the needs of vulnerable individuals, we are exploring how to scale efforts like The People’s Depot with additional, essential services. The People’s Depot seeks donations to help expand services by funding low-barrier jobs to collect and sort beverage containers. You can make a donation here. Please mention that the donation is for The People’s Depot.
The People’s Depot is a collective effort of harm reduction volunteers, Ground Score Association (a peer-led initiative of Trash for Peace), and the City of Portland’s Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program.