• Illustration: Levi Hastings

THE EXPANSION of Oregon's landmark "bottle bill" over the past few years—meant to pump up the state's decades-old can-and-bottle redemption program—seemed to offer something for everyone.

Collectors can now redeem water bottles for five cents apiece, along with bottles and cans that once held beer and soda. By 2018, that haul will include things like energy drink cans. And, as a bonus, if redemption rates statewide remain below 80 percent for a second consecutive year, that nickel will rise to a dime.

Major grocery stores, required by state law to accommodate those collectors, also got something for their trouble. To help them cope with the expected new volume a few years from now, stores were given permission to invest in regional redemption centers—freeing them from the headaches of managing long lines and maintaining uncooperative machines in various corners of their parking lots.

But with Portland's second such center on track to open by the end of this year, it's looking like that grand bargain might actually leave some people out. Homeless canners who work a wide swath of gentrifying North and Northeast Portland told the Mercury they worry they won't be able to easily reach the new facility—out near the Lowe's in Delta Park—with their shopping carts.