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Fred Meyer grocery stores in Oregon accept bottle returns during regular store hours. Hours of operation vary by location. You can return plastic, glass, and metal containers at your local Fred Meyer store. They will take back most soda cans, beer bottles, and water bottles. This Fred Meyer bottle return guide explains their bottle return policy and other helpful pointers.
Fred Meyer Bottle Return Policy in Oregon
Bottles can be returned at all 56 Fred Meyer grocery store locations in Oregon. Besides being great for the environment, your bottle return will earn you $0.10 on every qualifying beverage container. Under Oregon law, only containers with deposit charges are eligible for return credit. While bottle returns seem like ‘free money’, it’s a refund of the 10-cent deposit charge you paid when you bought the beverage.
Bottle returns are not accepted at Fred Meyer’s supermarkets in Washington State, Idaho, and Alaska, since those states don’t require bottle deposit charges.
Since bottle return policies differ by state, find out more about your state’s ‘bottle bills’ laws through the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Container Deposit Guide. While not all states have a bottle return program, Oregon’s Bottle Bill program is a model of sustainability.
Fred Meyer Bottle Return
Bottle return services are available during Fred Meyer’s regular store hours, which vary by location and day of the week. Most Fred Meyer stores open at 10 a.m. and close between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays. Your local Fred Meyer store will typically open one hour earlier on Saturdays.
Fred Meyer Bottle Return
Large Fred Meyer supermarkets have a bottle counting machine that speeds up the return process. Bottle return machines allow Fred Meyer customers to insert containers one at a time and receive a ticket for your refund amount. You can use your bottle return ticket when paying for your groceries at the cash register. Alternatively, you can redeem your ticket for cash at the customer service desk.
At smaller stores that don’t have a counting machine, a Fred Meyer employee will hand count your empty containers. After counting your bottles and calculating your refund amount, you will receive cash for your return.
Fred Meyer customers are limited to a certain number of bottles that they can return per day. While Fred Meyer locations in Portland have recently altered the maximum number of containers to 24 per day, other stores still have the old 144 bottle rule.
Fred Meyer and Bottle Drop Machines
Some Fred Meyer store locations use BottleDrop machines, which accelerate the bottle return process. BottleDrop, operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), processes over 8.3 million bags of returns annually. OBRC is a non-profit organization that keeps Oregon beautiful through its recycling program.
To return your empty bottles and containers to a BottleDrop machine at your local Fred Meyer store, follow these steps:
- Sign up for a BottleDrop account online or by using the kiosk at a BottleDrop Redemption Center, BottleDrop Express, or Partner Retailer drop location.
- Find your nearest BottleDrop network kiosk location using the location finder tool. Fred Meyer is a participating retailer.
- Download the BottleDrop app on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. If you don’t want to use the app, you can request a physical card through your online account.
- Next, you need to print bag tag labels at a BottleDrop kiosk. These labels feature QR codes that tie your container return bag to your BottleDrop account.
- Now, purchase a box of Green Bags from Fred Meyer, a Redemption Center, or a BottleDrop express. These are the bags that you will use to return your containers.
- Fill your Green Bags with accepted containers. You can find out what types of containers are eligible in the sections above or through the State of Oregon’s helpful guide. Remember that you are only allowed to return 15 Green Bags per quarter year, so it’s best to ensure they are full.
- Add your bag tag labels to each of your Green Bags before using your BottleDrop account card to open the machine’s door. If you forget to do this step, you won’t receive credit for your returns.
- Your BottleDrop account will be credited for your return within seven days. You can use your credit for a cash voucher at any BottleDrop kiosk.
If you’re interested in earning 20% more for every container return, consider joining BottleDrop Plus. Using this program, you can use your credit at any participating BottleDrop Plus retailer. Fred Meyer is one such participating retailer.
You can also donate your credit to a non-profit or transfer your bottle refunds to an Oregon College Savings Plan! If you want to donate your bottle deposit money to a non-profit, make sure you use the special Blue Bags.
Containers Accepted For Return
Fred Meyer accepts a variety of empty return containers, including bottles, cans, and jars made out of plastic, metal, or glass. To avoid your return being rejected, remember to clean your empty containers before entering the store. Exempt beverages are not eligible for a bottle deposit return.
The type of containers that can and cannot be returned for credit is regularly updated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here is a list of container types that Oregon accepts for returns:
Beverage Containers: 3 Liters or Less
- Soda in plastic bottles or aluminum cans (carbonated or sparkling beverages)
- Malt beverages
- Water and flavored water
- Hard Seltzer
Beverage Containers in Sizes From 4 Ounces Up To 1.5 Liters
- Energy and sports drinks
- Fruit and vegetable juice
- Aloe vera juice
- Non-alcohol wine
- Hard cider if 8.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) or less
- Muscle Milk
- Coconut water
- Oral electrolyte replacements (Pedialyte)
- Beverages containing dairy milk or plant-based milk if milk is not the first listed ingredient
- Ready-to-drink cocktail mixers (margarita mix, bloody Mary mix)
Be careful when returning glass bottles, as these can break if mishandled.
You Can’t Return These Types of Containers!
The following types of containers cannot be returned to Fred Meyer because they are excluded from refund value requirements:
- Distilled liquor
- Any beverage containing distilled spirits in any amount
- Mead and hard cider with an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) greater than 8.5%.
- Infant formula (baby formula)
- Vinegar (except for drinking vinegar)
- Condiments and flavoring
- Concentrates and syrup
- Meal replacements