Bottle drives are a great way to quickly and efficiently raise money for your organization, group or team. Essentially, a bottle drive is an event where your group goes into the community to collect returnable containers that can be redeemed for cash.
Normally, a bottle drive would require your team to sort your gathered refundable containers into specific categories and sizes, then count them into bags and boxes to prepare for a drop off. With Madden Redemption, rather than wasting your time on sorting collected containers, our Reverse Vending Machines allow your team to focus on collecting as many containers as possible, maximizing your return. In most cases, we are able to pay out earnings for bottle drives on the same day.
Preparing for Your Bottle Drive
1. Select a Date
Check with us in advance to reserve a time to host your bottle drive. We can help you coordinate the best time to host your drive. Our most common bottle drive date is Saturday so make sure you reserve your date early. We try our best to limit our schedule to one bottle drive per day so that no two organizations are taking away from one another.
2. Recruit volunteers
Make sure your organization has enough volunteers on hand to make your bottle drive worth while. With enough participants, you could earn a great deal in very little time. A team of 15 can raise over $1,000 in a single day. Remember, pickup trucks are VERY important! Make sure you have access to vehicles that can haul your collected containers back to Madden Redemption. But remember make sure you can adequately staff each truck you send out. For the sake of time and safety, you will want to assume 1 driver and 2 staff per truck.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Advertise
We have found in the past that organizations that advertise their events usually receive a much greater response. Don’t be afraid to hang fliers in targeted neighborhoods, send emails or use social media. Most people are happy to put aside returnables if they know when you will be passing through to collect for a good cause. Don’t be afraid to ask the public to show up at Madden Redemption on the date of your drive and donate their returnables to your organization. This will save you lots of collection time!
On Drive Day
1. Organize Your Staff
Allocate your workforce – Depending on your staff turnout, you will want to assign about 25% of them to organizing your collected bottles at Madden Redemption, and about 75% of them on trucks collecting returnables. Concentrate your efforts on collecting and don’t worry if you collect more than your organizers can handle. We will work with you to get your bottle drive processed as efficiently as possible.
Use assigned routes – Make sure each collection team has a clearly assigned area to collect bottles. This will keep your crew from overlapping routes and wasting time on neighborhoods that have already donated their returnables. When each truck checks in make sure they report the areas received donations from and provide them with a new (unassigned) area for their next trip. Printing out maps is a great way to keep your volunteer organized. Make sure you take down the cell phone numbers of drivers in case there is a mis-communication and they need to change routes.
2. Determine how you will sort the refundable items
There are a few methods of sorting your containers that Madden Redemption can coordinate. Depending on the size of your drive we will likely suggest one of the following:
Self Return – If your bottle drive is of a manageable size and you can allocate a few volunteers to run your bottles through machines, we will reserve you a portion of our redemption center to cash in your bottles immediately. We ask that you only utilize this reserved space, as you will likely be operating during our normal business hours. This method will normally allow you to collect your funds the same day as your bottle drive. Bottle drives under $100 can be paid in cash, over $100 will be paid by check.
Self Sort – If you are expecting to have a very large bottle drive, the best method of organizing your collected containers will be by self-sort. We will provide you an area to sort the recyclables into the three major categories (cans, plastic and glass) and store them in our secure storage containers. The following week we will work through your collected returnables, running them through the machines during the redemption center’s down time. The turnover for self sort payment is usually about 0-3 days, depending on size. We will give you call after we have completed processing your containers and will have a check ready for you.
Drop Off – Drop off style drives are best for bottle drives with limited time or volunteers. Focus your efforts on collecting returnables and drop them off in our secure storage. We will process the containers in our redemption center’s down time. The turnover for drop off payment is about one week depending on size. We will contact you shortly after we have processed your drive to pick up your check.
Off Site Bottle Drives
Madden Redemption can also coordinate to collect returnables for off-site bottle drives. If you are hosting a bottle drive outside of Saco, but need to partner with a redemption center for payment, we will be happy to coordinate with you. Off-site drives will require a sorting location, usually a school or church parking lot. Be sure to have a location ready ahead of time.
We ask that all off-site bottle drives operate a self-sort system so we can accurately organize and account for your collected containers upon their arrival. Depending on our schedule, we can meet you on site to help you set up your bottle drive beforehand. Though we will ask you coordinate a drop off date with us, the date of your off site bottle drive will not have to be reserved. We prefer only one on-site drive per day, but given there will be no overlap with off-site drives, feel free to schedule these events at your leisure and simply let us know in advance when you plan to drop off your containers.
Consider bringing the following :
- Route maps
- Clip Boards
- Pens and pencils
- Rubber gloves
- Hand Sanitizer
- Cell Phone
We will be happy to provide the following:
A well-coordinated bottle drive can be a great fundraising success for your organization. If you would like to schedule your bottle drive with Madden Beverage and Redemption, please give us a call at (207) 282-8700.