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NR 2001-59
September 17, 2001

Contact: Carol Dahmen
Mark Oldfield
Don Drysdale
Ed Wilson
(916) 323-1886

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION RECOGNIZES
HUMBOLDT COUNTY LEADERSHIP
IN BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING

Local Recycling Efforts Receive Additional $5,000
 to Support Marketing Efforts

Eureka –The California Department of Conservation today pledged an additional $5,000 to support local recycling promotion in recognition of Humboldt County’s leadership role and innovative beverage container recycling programs.

During a brief ceremony recognizing local recycling efforts, Director Darryl Young and department staff gathered at the Manila Dunes Community Center, 1611 Peninsula Drive, in Manila for a “family portrait” with North Coast recyclers who had received funding from the department previously.

“The cities and towns of Humboldt County continue to set an example for other regions looking to improve beverage container recycling rates,” said Young. “We want to recognize those efforts by supporting recycling promotion efforts.”

California’s beverage container recycling rate declined in 2000 to 61 percent as more than six billion containers were thrown away instead of recycled. In response, the department launched a statewide campaign to motivate Californians to recycle more.

The statewide campaign provides materials and support for local programs interested in helping increase bottle and can recycling rates.

The department also offers a city and county payment program, funded through the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, that provides money to eligible cities and counties for beverage container recycling and litter cleanup activities. In 2001, the department awarded Humboldt County almost $25,000 for local recycling programs. The cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Fortuna, Rio Dell and Trinidad each received $5,000 grants.

This year, Humboldt County’s grant funding provides support to a wide range of programs and services. These programs include recycling collections, public education projects, beverage container litter clean-up and “buy recycled” activities.

Statewide, the trashed aluminum, glass and plastic in 2000 represents an estimated $158 million in unredeemed California Refund Value (CRV) deposits. Laid end-to-end, the unrecycled beverage containers would circle the earth nearly seven times.

The average recycling rate during the 1990s was 77 percent. The addition of new CRV containers – many of them plastic, which historically has been recycled at lower rates than aluminum – is cited by the Department as one reason for the decline.

The pro-recycling marketing campaign – which utilizes television, print and radio advertisements, as well as billboards and an Internet site (www.bottlesandcans.com) – is designed to motivate Californians to recycle more.

The theme for the campaign is “Recycle. It’s good for the bottle. It’s good for the can.”

California is one of 10 states with a beverage container-recycling program. The Department of Conservation administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, which became law in 1986. The primary goal of the act is to achieve and maintain high recycling rates for each beverage container type included in the program.

Consumers pay CRV (California Refund Value) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. The deposits are refunded when empty containers are redeemed through local recycling centers. More information on the state's beverage container recycling program is available at www.bottlesandcans.com, or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

In addition to promotion of the state's beverage container recycling program, the Department of Conservation administers programs to safeguard agricultural and open-space land; regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells in the state; studies and maps earthquakes, landslides and mineral resources; and ensures reclamation of land used for mining.

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