December 2005

California achieves 65% recycling rate for first half 2005

Sacramento, CA— In conjunction with America Recycles Day, the Department of Conservation (DOC) announced that California’s recycling rate reached 65 percent for the first half of 2005.

Californians made history in 2004 by recycling more than 12 billion bottles and cans, an all-time high, and achieving an overall annual recycling rate of 59 percent, up from 55 percent the previous year. The trend from the first half of 2005 indicates the annual recycling rate will rise again after 10 years of declines.

With the help of groundbreaking innovations like the Recycling Starter Kit, new partnerships with private businesses that have begun recycling programs, and grants programs that propel a wide range of recycling activities, more beverage containers than ever before are being recycled to come back as new products.

The 2.5 billion clear plastic bottles recycled by Californians last year were enough to create 180 million extra-large t-shirts made of Eco-spun fabric, or 40 million fleece sweaters, or enough recycled-content carpet to cover about 333,000 football fields.

Over the course of the past year, several high profile California businesses have started recycling programs. Some examples include Gold’s Gym in Venice, the Hard Rock Cafe in Sacramento and the Gap headquarters in San Francisco. Additionally, countless schools, private businesses and non-profit groups have started beverage container recycling programs for the first time in history.

The increase in recycling activity is due in large part to the DOC’s new Recycling Starter Kit that provides businesses, schools and other organizations all the components they need to get started — including the recycling bin. Since the launch of the program, more than 3,200 businesses and other organizations have ordered the kit via

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. CRV is 4 cents on containers that hold less than 24 ounces, 8 cents on containers 24 ounces or greater. Among the notable products not included in the program are milk, wine and distilled spirits.

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