California refund program celebrates
More than 160 billion bottles and cans recycled
in California since 1986
Sacramento, CA— Beginning January 1, Californians
will get more cash back for their aluminum, glass and plastic beverage
Assembly Bill 3056, signed by Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger on September 30, raises the amount of California
Refund Value (CRV) consumers receive at recycling centers to a nickel
for containers less than 24 ounces and a dime for containers 24
ounces and larger.
For at least six months, the amount of CRV consumers
pay at the store will remain four cents on smaller containers and
eight cents on larger ones.
Since AB 2020 established the state’s recycling
program in 1986, more than 160 billion aluminum, glass, and plastic
beverage containers have been recycled in the state. In 2005 alone,
Californians recycled an all-time record 12.4 billion beverage containers,
61 percent of the 20.5 billion that were purchased in the state.
When AB 2020 passed in September of 1986, there
was no incentive to recycle bottles and cans other than the “scrap
value” recycling centers were willing to pay. CRV was introduced
in 1987, which allowed Californians to collect one cent for each
beverage container recycled. In 1988, Californians recycled 6.1
billion CRV containers.
CRV later increased to 2.5 cents on containers
less than 24 ounces and 4 cents on containers 24 ounces and larger.
From 1991-2003, Californians averaged more than
10 billion recycled CRV containers per year. When CRV increased
to 4 cents (8 cents on larger containers) in 2004, the number jumped
to 12 billion recycled.
Most beverages packaged in glass, aluminum and
plastic — such as soft drinks, water, beer, sports drinks,
juices and coffee and tea drinks — are included in the CRV
program. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits.
Californians have several convenient options for
recycling and redeeming CRV bottles and cans, primarily through
neighborhood curbside programs and the approximately 2,100 certified
recycling centers and drop-off and collection locations throughout
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.