ANOTHER VOICE: Leos: 400,000 containers and counting

As usual, the first Saturday of March had the Hood River Leos Club collecting deposit bottles and cans in the Rosauers parking lot. As they do on the first Saturday of every month, the Leos greeted the regular stream of cars whose drivers were bringing bags or boxes of empty containers.

And those containers, each with a nickel deposit, add up. Sometime on the first Saturday in January, someone brought the 400,000th container to the Leos since the monthly collection began four years ago.

As the containers add up, so do the nickel deposits. The 400,000 containers mean the Leos have collected $20,000 worth of nickels.

Since the Leos Club passes 100 percent of the money from its deposit container collection to local groups or activities, this $20,000 has benefited our community. Recent recipients of funds from the monthly collections include the FISH food bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Relay for Life, the Warming Shelter Project, Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue, the Christmas Project, the March of Dimes and Adopt A Dog.

(If your group wants to be involved with a Leos collection and receive the associated funds, please email to Leos@gorge.net.)

The Hood River Leos is a youth community service group affiliated with the Lions Clubs in the Hood River Valley. You’ll see members volunteering their time throughout the community at various events. Hood River is blessed to have many of our youths doing so many worthwhile activities. It amazes me how involved these kids are.

The monthly deposit container collection program began in January 2009. The youths concluded that because most people don’t like to use the machines to return their deposit containers, many were being thrown away. And, even if the containers were being recycled curbside or at a drop box, the nickel deposits that go along with the containers were staying with beverage manufacturers and distributors.

The Leos also recognized that many of us would gladly donate our deposit containers to a good cause, if it were easy to do so. So, the monthly collection project increases beverage container recycling, keeps more of the nickel deposits in the community and raises much-needed funds for local groups and activities.

Now, four years later, the monthly collection of deposit containers continues. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month in the Rosauers parking lot, the Leos collect aluminum, plastic and glass beverage containers that have a 5-cent deposit.

Please bring only containers that have a deposit (soda, beer and any beverage container with the word “water” on the label), thus no Snapple, Gatorade, tea, juice or wine bottles. It is also helpful to sort the containers by type.

Thanks to community and business support, the Leos deposit container collection has been huge success. Activities like this makes one happy to live here.

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Bob Danko, of Parkdale, is an adult volunteer assistant to the Leos collection project.

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