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NR 2004-03
January 29, 2004

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

STATE PREDICTS MASSIVE WASTE
DURING SUPER BOWL WEEKEND

Urges Californians To Recycle As Millions of Bottles and Cans
Could Be Headed To Landfills

Sacramento, CA - The biggest football weekend of the year is almost here, and Californians will be rushing for beverages in record numbers. Unfortunately, many will take a pass on recycling their empty bottles and cans.

In advance of the Super Bowl, the California Department of Conservation is releasing its own pre-game stats: a massive number of glass, plastic and aluminum beverage containers will never get back on the playing field because they needlessly end up in trashcans after the game.

Over the course of the three-day weekend, the Department of Conservation estimates that more than 42 million containers of beer, soda, water and other refreshments will be thrown in the trash instead of redeemed for cash and then recycled. This means Californians will send almost 14 million aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles into early retirement each day. On a national scale, the estimated 2.8 billion beverage containers disposed of in the week leading up to the Super Bowl would be enough to fill the Houston Reliant Stadium's playing field to the top of the 265-foot-high roof three times.

“Super Bowl weekend is a crucial time to remind consumers that they should win one for the environment by recycling their beverage containers,” said Darryl Young, director of the Department of Conservation. “Millions of beverage containers will have career-ending injuries this weekend unless we make a commitment to recycle them. Californians should be aware they can save landfill space and natural resources, and get cash by redeeming their California Refund Value beverage containers at recycling centers.”

In California, 42 million containers represent almost $1 million dollars in California Refund Value (CRV). To put that in perspective, there will be enough CRV thrown in the trash to buy 320 tickets to the game, or about one million bottles of beer for the world’s biggest Super Bowl party.

In addition to cash, these trashed beverage containers represent a substantial loss in resources. For example, if recycled, there would be enough clear plastic bottles – about 11 million -- to make 780,000 New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers t-shirts, 173,000 team sweaters or enough carpeting to cover 52 playing fields. Each aluminum can recycled saves enough energy to run a television for nearly three hours, roughly the time it takes to watch the Super Bowl. And glass can be recycled over and over again into new glass, saving energy each time.

“Recycling bottles and cans is easy if consumers just have a good game plan,” explained Young. “For example, if you are expecting guests for the game, simply set out a separate box or bag near your trashcan that is clearly marked for recycling empty bottles and cans. If you’ve got kids, put them in charge of the recycling bins and let them keep the cash they get at the recycling center. ”

Consumers can find their nearest recycling center by calling 1-800-RECYCLE or visiting www.bottlesandcans.com and using the recycling center locater by zip code.

In addition to promoting beverage container recycling, the Department of Conservation maps and studies earthquakes and other geologic phenomena, classifies areas containing mineral deposits; ensures reclamation of land used for mining; regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells; and administers agricultural and open-space land conservation programs.

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