MEDFORD, Ore. -- The Medford BottleDrop Redemption Center is upping security by adding a full-time security guard. The guard was added on October 10th to help facilitate crowds and address concerns of nearby neighbors.
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative says the Medford location has not had any specific incidents that created a need for more security but it decided to make a change after receiving some concerns from Medford community members.
"There's a couple of things happening in Oregon right now and across the country that are affecting a wide variety of businesses including BottleDrop and that is a homeless crisis and an opioid epidemic," said Community Relations Manager Joel Schoening. "As a business that serves every sector of the community we experience those issues first hand."
The Medford BottleDrop neighbors a mobile home park. One resident says after Medford's BottleDrop was built, he has seen an increase in homeless people wandering around his property.
"[BottleDrop] is a good thing. I mean do we want to have the bottles and cans in the street or in the garbage, or landfills? ... It's just kind of a Catch 22 with the homeless people or transients that make their living off of it," said Steve Rennick who lives next to the Medford redemption center.
ORBC also addressed the high traffic at the redemption center as a cause for upping security. Oregonians who use the center tell NewsWatch 12 they're often met with full parking lots and lines.
"That location is really busy. There's a lot of people who come and go," said Schoening. "BottleDrop is for every member of our community and sometimes we experience lines... and occasionally there can be tension between customers."
Medford's redemption center is not the first to get a security guard. OBRC says Portland locations also have more security.
ORBC says 100% of materials turned over to Oregon BottleDrop is recycled domestically and therefore less litter ends up on local streets.
You can learn more about BottleDrop here.