California’s bottle and can recycling rate surges
While 2004 proved to be a poor recycling year for America,
California sets a new record
Sacramento, CA— According to Department of Conservation
statistics released, Californians recycled 5.8 billion California Refund
Value bottles and cans from January to July, the highest six-month figure
“Recycling bottles and cans is one of the many
ways Californians can express their commitment to the state’s
environment and natural resources,” said California Secretary
for Resources, Mike Chrisman. “It’s heartening to see recycling
on the rise, and this should serve as a reminder to everyone to recycle
where you live, work and play.”
Numbers for the first half of 2004 show recycling is
up for aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers. If the trend
continues, Californians will recycle more than one billion additional
bottles and cans in 2004 than in 2003.
Overall, the recycling rate of CRV containers for the
first six months of this year was 63 percent, up from 58 percent for
the January-June period last year. By the end of 2003, the recycling
rate had fallen to 55 percent, the lowest annual rate since the CRV
program began in 1987.
The increase in the recycling rate can be tied to a number
of things, including a higher refund value that took effect in January
2004. Ongoing efforts by the Department of Conservation have resulted
in greater public awareness of the need to recycle and better customer
service at thousands of privately owned recycling centers in the state.
Also, DOC funding to cities and counties and grants to a variety of
entities have resulted in more recycling opportunities, and outreach
efforts have increased recycling at private businesses like office buildings
More than 19 billion CRV bottles and cans will be sold
in California this year. Containers that aren’t recycled represent
hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed CRV — cash that should
go back into Californians’ pockets. In 2003, some eight billion
bottles and cans were thrown away, worth an estimated $300 million in
In addition to the cash reclaimed through redemption,
energy is saved as well: a single aluminum can, if recycled, saves enough
electricity to run a television for nearly three hours.
California Refund Value is 4 cents on containers less
than 24 ounces, 8 cents on containers 24 ounces and larger.
Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass and plastic,
such as soft drinks, water, beer, sports drinks, juices and coffee and
tea drinks, are included in the CRV program. Among the notable products
not included in the program are milk, wine and distilled spirits. For
a comprehensive list of products subject to CRV, visit http://www.conservation.ca-.gov/DOR/CRVinOutList.pdf.
All aspects of the state’s beverage container recycling
program are paid for with unclaimed refunds of CRV beverage containers,
at no cost to the state’s general fund.