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New Rule Simplifies Payment at Recycling Centers

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New Rule Simplifies Payment at Recycling Centers

Non-Redemption Value Beverage Containers May No Longer Be “Commingled” for Refunds

SACRAMENTO – As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to improve recycling efforts and ensure the Beverage Container Recycling Fund’s fiscal integrity, consumer loads of California Redemption Value, or “CRV,” beverage containers that include non-CRV material will no longer be eligible for refunds at recycling centers.  This change will be effective November 1, 2013.   The updated rule, signed into law by Gov. Brown, eliminates the “commingled” per-pound payment rate that is somewhat lower than the CRV-only rate.

Since 1987, consumers have been able to include non-CRV containers with CRV-eligible containers when bringing recyclables to recycling centers for redemption.  The commingled rate recognized consumers’ bundled containers could include non-CRV items such as milk jugs, wine and distilled spirits bottles, and food containers in loads of CRV materials.  As such, consumers bringing so-called “commingled loads” to recycling centers received a reduced per pound rate.  So in addition to giving the consumer a lower net payment for their recycling, the commingled rate risked CRV payments for commingled loads that included minimal CRV-eligible materials.

Recycling facilities that currently offer consumers the commingled rate for mixed loads will only be allowed to pay scrap value for the non-CRV materials. Most consumers who redeem their empty bottles and cans at recycling centers will not notice a change, since many of those businesses already accept only CRV materials.  Starting in November, this change will ensure only CRV-eligible containers are redeemed for their redemption value.

“This much-needed revision to CRV refund options will simplify transactions for consumers and recycling centers alike,” said Caroll Mortensen, director of the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), which administers the state’s beverage container recycling program. “By eliminating payments for non-CRV material, we also protect the beverage container recycling fund by ensuring CRV refunds go only toward those bottles and cans included in the program.”

Consumers are still able to redeem containers by count, rather than weight, for up to 50 CRV beverage containers of each material type, per day.  Consumers are encouraged to recycle non-CRV beverage containers for scrap value at recycling centers that will accept the material, or through their residential curbside or multi-family dwelling recycling programs.

Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, and plastic, such as soda, beer, and water, are subject at the checkout stand to CRV of 5 cents for containers less than 24 ounces and 10 cents for containers 24 ounces or larger. Notable exceptions are milk, wine, distilled spirits, and medical foods.  These products’ containers are not charged a redemption value at the point of sale.  Consumers can redeem eligible bottles and cans at more than 2,500 recycling centers statewide. Consumer information on what is included in the CRV program and where to take bottles and cans for redemption is available on the CalRecycle website or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

Over the coming months CalRecycle will be undertaking additional changes to improve the program and protect the fiscal stability of the Beverage Container Recycling Fund, such as enhanced training of recycling center owners and adoption of regulations that will reduce the number of containers an individual can bring to a recycling center in a single day.

CalRecycle also has pending regulations to implement a state law requiring importers of out-of-state containers to enter the state through California Department of Food and Agriculture inspection stations, provide personal identification at the station, and specify where they are taking the containers.

CalRecycle is the state's leading authority on recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse.  CalRecycle plays an important role in the stewardship of California's vast resources and promotes innovation in technology to encourage economic and environmental sustainability.  For more information, visit

California DOJ Makes Arrests over CRV Violations

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Recycling Today reports that the California Department of Justice has arrested several individuals on suspicion of defrauding the state's Beverage Recycling Container Fund of several hundred thousand dollars.

For the article, please click here.

Who Will Governor Brown Blame - Criminals or Law-abiding Business Owners?

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Todd Priest, Vice President at Curt Pringle & Associates, authored an Op-Ed on the Flash Report, a widely read on-line publication which focuses on California politics. In the piece, Todd provides an important distinction between SB 485 and AB 841, and why a large segment of the Recycling Industry has put its support behind SB 485.

For the article, please click here.

Port Traffic Strong at Long Beach, Slower in L.A.

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The Los Angeles Business Journal published an article comparing growth in volume at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, with interesting results.

For the article, please click here.

PRESS RELEASE: Recyclers Urge Governor to Support Comprehensive Bill to Combat Metal Theft

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Recyclers Urge Governor to Support Comprehensive Bill to Combat Metal Theft

Leading Trade Group States the Focus Should Be On Non-Complaint Businesses

San Gabriel, Calif., September 3, 2013 – The Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI) is urging the Governor to support pending legislation that would dramatically reduce the incidents of metal theft in California.  The Legislation, SB 485 was approved unanimously by the Senate and is currently pending in the Assembly.  However, industry experts are also urging the Governor to veto a controversial bill, AB 841, which is opposed by Democrats and Republicans, but was able to garner enough voters to reach the Governor’s desk.

“Our industry is extremely concerned with metal theft in California and has been working with state officials on meaningful legislation that will address not only this theft, but also the issue of non-complaint businesses in the state.  By approving SB 485, our state will be sending a strong message to non-complaint recyclers, no longer will they be able to help facilitate metal theft,” said Trini Jones, ACRI President.  “However, AB 841 would merely place another requirement on businesses that are already adhering to state laws and will have little to no impact on reducing metal theft.”

SB 485 requires all recyclers to provide on-site documentation and be able demonstrate they are operating in compliance with all state recycling laws.  On the other hand, AB 841 merely requires recyclers provide payment to the public through a mailed check.  Industry experts contend that this requirement will not impact metal theft as it does not directly address the issue of non-compliant operations who will continue to offer the convenience of cash payment.

“Placing another requirement on law-abiding business will only drive the cost of business higher and, more importantly, inconvenience the public.  We hope the Governor takes advantage of this opportunity to truly address metal theft in California. Our focus needs to be on solving the problem, not asking businesses and the public to jump through yet another hoop to conduct their recycling transactions,” Jones.


About the Association of California Recycling Industries: The Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI), a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of independent recyclers throughout California, is committed to promoting free market principles and ethical practices, fostering awareness of recycling issues, and leading the development of recycling policy.  For more information about the Association of California Recycling Industries please visit:

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