Bottles and Cans Add Up to Big Returns for College Bound Oregonians


Oregon College Savings Plan launches BottleDrop partnership for higher education savings

SALEM – In time to celebrate National Recycling Day, the Oregon College Savings Plan and BottleDrop are announcing a new partnership that allows Oregonians to turn their bottle and can returns into a plan for the future. Launching today, November 12, 2019, the program enables recyclers from across the state to transfer funds from their BottleDrop account to an Oregon College Savings Plan account, providing a new—and convenient—method to save for higher education.

“Our collaboration with BottleDrop offers Oregonians with a creative way to save for education and training after high school,” said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. “We know that no matter where you live in Oregon, every penny adds up, and we want to make it easier for everyone to start saving for their future today.”

BottleDrop account holders can save for themselves, for their kids, for their grandkids, or as a gift to anyone with an Oregon College Savings Plan account. Setting up a new Oregon College Savings Plan account takes about 15 minutes. Participants can access a link to the sign up page through their BottleDrop account and then immediately begin saving. Multiple Oregon College Savings Plan accounts can be connected to a single BottleDrop account, further streamlining the contribution process.

“For nearly 50 years, families have used bottle and can returns to teach kids about family finances and conserving natural resources,” said Jules Bailey, Chief Stewardship Officer and Director of External Relations for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative. “The BottleDrop partnership with the Oregon College Savings Plan offers Oregon families another easy way to turn their small deposits into big returns for their future. We believe this new program will be an important tool for our account holders, one that will help families across Oregon to save for college.”

Oregonians can accrue funds by returning their empty beverage containers at one of over 50 BottleDrop locations across the state, via self-serve machines, through hand-counted returns, or by dropping off a Green Bag. Account holders with a minimum balance of $5 can transfer BottleDrop earnings to their Oregon College Savings Plan account by setting up a manual or recurring transfer of funds.

“It couldn’t be simpler. Oregonians need a BottleDrop account and an Oregon College Savings Plan account number to participate,” said Michael Parker, Executive Director for the Oregon Savings Network.

“Accounts are available to anyone and can be created in just a few minutes online. Connecting these low- cost, low-barrier financial tools will make saving for higher education more accessible for low- and moderate-income families.”

The BottleDrop program announcement follows the launch of another Oregon College Savings Plan collaboration, the Oregon Scholars program. This first-of-its-kind partnership allows undergraduate students to double the impact of their college savings with a dollar-for-dollar match at participating schools. The Oregon College Savings Plan recently celebrated its 18-year anniversary and a milestone $2 billion saved.


The Oregon College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored savings program that comes with special tax advantages and can be opened by just about anyone—parents, family, friends, even future students. The money saved in the Oregon College Savings Plan grows tax-free and can be used for qualified expenses at any accredited, post-secondary institution or trade school. To learn more and to open an account, please visit or call 866-772-8464.

The Oregon Savings Network, part of the Oregon State Treasury, was launched in January 2001 to administer the Oregon College Savings Plan. It has since expanded to administer the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan and national ABLE for ALL Savings Plan, and the first state-run retirement program, OregonSaves.

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) is the industry steward of Oregon’s nationally recognized beverage container deposit program. OBRC helps keep Oregon beautiful by providing outstanding services to distributors, retailers, and to the public for the recovery, reuse, and recycling of beverage containers. OBRC provides consumer access to fast, easy, and convenient beverage container returns through an expanding network of BottleDrop locations and services.

About Author

Kasey Krifka is the Engagement Director with the Oregon State Treasury.

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