NR 2001-65
October 30, 2001

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


SANTA MARIA – California Department of Conservation Director Darryl Young today recognized a variety of public and private organizations in Santa Maria for their efforts to “stop the drop” and encourage greater recycling of beverage containers.

“Today we recognize the significant efforts of the Santa Maria community to support beverage container recycling,” Young told an assembly of students and local community leaders at Juan Pacifico Ontiveros Elementary School. “By helping recycle bottles and cans, you not only are conserving natural resources, but you are helping keep your beautiful community free of litter.”

Young presented several awards of recognition to individuals and organizations for their support of local recycling efforts.

The City of Santa Maria, in cooperation with Larrabee Brothers Recycling, used a grant from the department to install recycling bins in city parks to help remind people to recycle when they’re out and about as well as at home.

Since 1994, Ontiveros Elementary’s Therese Brady and her second- and third- grade students have participated in “Kids Can Teach Other Kids About the Environment, Too!,” a nationally recognized education project between the school and Health Sanitation Service, the local waste hauling company.

The program includes a student-designed brochure, an aggressive on-site recycling program and an annual “Green Ribbon Week” recycling education fair for students. The department’s Division of Recycling is adding the children-developed recycling brochure to its list of statewide education materials.

The awards ceremony at Ontiveros School included an appearance by Recycle Rex, California’s recycling “spokesdinosaur.”

Only 61 percent of the beverage containers sold in California were recycled in 2000. That means more than six billion containers were thrown away. The department’s statewide promotional campaign, launched in May, is designed to spread the message that people should “Recycle. It’s good for the bottle. It’s good for the can.”

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 a primary reason for the decline.

California is one of 10 states with a beverage container-recycling program. The department 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, or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

In addition to promotion of the state's beverage container recycling program, the department 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.