NR 2006-16
May 15, 2006

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


SACRAMENTO – The Department of Conservation reported today that Californians recycled an all-time record 12.4 billion beverage containers in 2005. The 400 million-container increase in recycling is enough to fill a major league baseball stadium.

“Many Californians understand that recycling reduces waste and saves natural resources and energy, so for them, giving bottles and cans a second chance is second nature,” said state Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman. “Now the challenge is to inform those who don’t recycle enough, and to help everyone by making recycling as convenient as possible.”

For the second year in a row, clear plastic containers such as single-serve water bottles had a particularly impressive increase, with a 24 percent gain in total volume recycled, to 3.1 billion bottles. Glass recycling volume was up 3 percent to 2 billion containers, while aluminum dipped slightly to 7.1 billion cans. Other types of plastic, along with bi-metal cans, made up the remainder of the recycled CRV beverage containers.

While recycling volume in California reached an all-time high, so did total sales of CRV containers, at nearly 20.5 billion.

Looking ahead, Department of Conservation Director Bridgett Luther encouraged consumers and businesses alike to do all they can to recycle where the live, work and play.

“Summer will soon be here, and Californians will reach for plenty of refreshments,” she said. “Whether at home, at the office or on the go, we need to make sure our bottles and cans end up in a recycling bin and not a trash can.”

California businesses interested in starting a beverage container recycling program for employees and customers can receive a free Recycling Starter Kit from the Department of Conservation by ordering online at or calling 1-800-RECYCLE. To date, the department has sent out more than 17,000 starter kits to offices, schools, gyms, restaurants and other places where people empty their bottles and cans. The kit contains a stylish black recycling bin suitable for aluminum or plastic container collection, plus information on how to begin the program, what bottles and cans have CRV, and where to redeem them for cash.

California Refund Value is 4 cents on containers less than 24 ounces, 8 cents on containers 24 ounces and larger. Consumers and businesses can find nearby recycling centers by calling 1-800-RECYCLE or visiting and using the zip code-based recycling center locater. There are approximately 2,000 certified recycling centers statewide.

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. Among the notable products not included in the program are milk, wine and distilled spirits.  Need more information? See the comprehensive list of CRV products.

All aspects of the state’s beverage container recycling program are paid for with unclaimed refunds of CRV beverage containers, at no cost to the state's general fund.

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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