December 10, 2008

Contact: Mark Oldfield
              Carrie Reinsimar


SACRAMENTO – Grants announced today could create nearly 2,000 “green” jobs over the next several years and lead to innovations in recycling billions of beverage containers.
The California Department of Conservation allocated $20 million among 20 projects statewide.  Funding for the grants comes from unclaimed California Refund Value (CRV) on aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers that end up in the trash instead of being recycled.  Many grant recipients have dedicated additional funds for their projects.

“These projects help California’s environment and economy, and keep our state at the leading edge of efforts to build sustainable communities,” DOC Director Bridgett Luther said.  “Through this grants program, we promote economic development and an array of advancements in recycling and resource conservation.”

California has the nation’s largest bottle and can recycling program -- in the first six months of 2008, Californians recycled a record 7.6 billion CRV beverage containers. As a result, the recycling rate rose to 76 percent, compared to 71 percent for the same January-June period in 2007. 

While the recovery infrastructure in California is extensive, the DOC grants address opportunities for increased and more efficient recovery, cleaner supplies of recovered material, and an increase in the number of California-based manufacturers that use recycled materials in their products. The grants were announced by Director Luther at a manufacturing facility in Richmond owned by Vetrazzo, a grant recipient and maker of countertops and other surfaces that use recycled glass from bottles and other sources.

Some examples of other grant projects:

Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc. was awarded $4.9 million toward a $27 million project to establish a plastics manufacturing facility in Stanislaus County. The facility will provide a California-based supply of food and beverage packaging made from recycled plastic. The project is expected to recover more than 880 million plastic containers annually and create 50 jobs. 

REPSCO, Inc. will receive close to $1 million toward a $7.8 million project to relocate its Denver-based plastics recycling center to Fresno. The company plans to increase the recycling rate of No. 2 plastic (such as that used in milk containers) by using up to10 million pounds of the material each year to create “slip sheets,” a replacement for traditional wooden pallets in transportation and warehouse applications. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to process almost 60 million containers into slip sheets annually and create 25 jobs.

Riverside County’s CR&R Incorporated will receive $730,000 to begin development of a $26 million, three-year project to create one of the most environmentally advanced materials recovery facilities (MRF) in the United States. The grant funds will help purchase an optical scanner, overhead magnet and other equipment to capture a higher volume of CRV material.  The 52-acre facility will be one of the first in the United States to develop bio-methane for energy use from sorted municipal waste. It is estimated the project will process 80 million beverage containers annually and create 20 jobs.

Although not a requirement, several grantees submitted matching contributions to further demonstrate their commitment to the success of the projects. This year’s matching funds totaled more than $72 million. Selection of this year’s grant recipients was based on a number of factors, including:

• The project’s potential to create new temporary or permanent jobs
• Innovation and sustainability in material collection and/or processing improvements
• Demonstration of new technologies
• Creation of new products using recycled beverage containers
• Overcoming barriers to the purchase of recycled-content products

Legislation that created the Recycling Market Development and Expansion Grants program in 2004 allocated $10 million in funding annually.  In 2007, legislation increased funding to $20 million annually through Jan. 1, 2012. 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. 
For additional information on the Department of Conservation’s Recycling Market Development and Expansion Grants program, visit  For more information on beverage container recycling, visit
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California Department of Conservation
Recycling Market Development and Expansion Grants

2008 Grant Recipients Include:

California State University, Chico, Office of Research; Butte County; Granted $270,740 -- Will collaborate with Zanker Materials Processing Facility to determine the quantities of beverage containers disposed of in mixed construction and demolition debris. It will develop and document a new processing and sorting method, increase the recovery of beverage containers not currently recycled and create an estimated 325 jobs.
Local Contact: Carol Sager, (530) 898-5700

Owens Brockway Glass Container, Inc.; San Joaquin County; Granted $1,103,501; Matched Funding:  $615,055 -- The project will develop a specialized mini-cullet plant in Tracy to produce higher quality glass cullet feedstock for glass bottle manufacturing and  purchase equipment  to include screening, ceramic and metal detection, and color sorting.
Local Contact: Paul J. Smith, (567) 336-2236

Davis Street Station; Alameda County; Granted $744,419; Matched Funding: $471,023 -- The project will purchase and install an optical sorting system to capture plastic and aluminum found in the mixed paper stream. The project increases recovery of plastic CRV containers by 15 percent, or 106 tons per year, and increases aluminum can recovery by 15 percent, or 78 tons per year. Estimated job creation: 7.
Local Contact: Rebecca Jewell, (510) 563-4214

Waste Connections; San Luis Obispo County; Granted $775,800; Matched Funding: $775,800 -- The project will install two paper sorting machines and a new system specifically designed to recover a higher percent of CRV beverage containers by material type. This will result in increased recovery of CRV and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Project is estimated to create eight new jobs annually.
Local Contact: John Ryan, (805) 543-0280

eCullet, Inc.; Alameda County; Granted $980,000; Matched Funding: $ 1,300,000 -- The project will develop, manufacture and commission a compact pre-processing and sorter system for glass. The “Distributed Recycling of Glass Cullet” system will process the output of residue collected from a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to produce furnace-ready cullet for sale to bottle companies in California. The system could be portable or a fixed installation co-located at a MRF. The project is estimated to create eight new jobs annually.
Local Contact: Farook Afsari, (650) 223-6670 

Ecointesys-Life Cycle Systems; Essex, Mass.; Granted $72,000 -- The project will develop a tool for DOC and others to use in assessing potential waste-to-energy and other technologies to be used as a component of California’s beverage container recycling strategy. The tool will be based on a comprehensive lifecycle assessment of alternative beverage container end-of-life options and energy production options.
Local Contact: Jon Dettling, (617) 500-7152

Business for the Environment dba Future 500; San Francisco County; Granted $1,047,500; Matched Funding: $953,300 -- This project will develop and test a practical business system for sorting materials from mixed recyclables and plastics. It seeks to address both the sustainability of packaging materials in terms of natural resources used, carbon mitigation achieved, and the systems for recycling and re-use of these materials. Estimated job creation = 1,250.
Local Contact: Bill Shireman, (415) 706-4482

OMNI Resource Recovery, Inc.; Riverside County; Granted $990,000; Matched Funding: $300,000 -- The project will add a sink/float system to the production line that will allow OMNI to make use of approximately 4.5 million pounds of CRV material that are currently too contaminated to be used. Estimated job creation = 12.
Local Contact: Joe Castro, (909) 327-2900

National Association for PET Containers NAPCOR; Sonoma County; Granted $295,000; Matched Funding: $67,165 -- The project will provide the research and outreach to establish an independent test laboratory at a college or university in California. The test laboratory will conduct assessments of recycling streams and will become an essential marketing tool for any beverage maker introducing a new CRV package into the California marketplace. The project is estimated to create six new jobs.
Local Contact: Kate Eagles, (707) 935-4207 x16

PRCC; Sonoma County; Granted $537,000; Matched Funding: $562,500 -- The project will purchase and install an additional high compression plastic reduction system at buy-back locations throughout California. The system crushes and compacts the plastic containers, thereby improving the economics, quantity and quality of CRV containers.
Local Contact: Patricia Moore, (707) 935-1997

TOMRA Pacific, Inc.; Riverside County; Granted $1,400,000; Matched Funding: $2,900,000 -- The project will purchase equipment and construct a new glass processing facility in Commerce. The facility will allow TOMRA, the leading operator of CRV buyback centers in California, to process bottle glass for use in the production of new glass containers. The project will integrate TOMRA’s glass collection and processing activities and create 20 new jobs.
Local Contact: Chuck Riegle, 203) 447-8709

Valley Vista Services; Los Angeles County; Granted $545,000; Matched Funding: $2,014,492 -- The project will increase the rate and quality of CRV recovery by establishing processing and sorting lines in Southern California plants that process and separate clean CRV from commercial waste in various cities. Job creation = 6.
Local Contact: David Perez, (800) 442-6454

Global PET, Inc.; Riverside County; Granted $916,000; Matched Funding: $229,000 -- The project will install equipment for producing food packaging containers. Global will be able to wash, sheet and process recycled plastic all at one facility, reducing production and transportation costs. This will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and create an estimated 36 new jobs annually.
Local Contact: Nadim Bahou, (951) 657-5466

Global PET, Inc.; Riverside County; Granted $1,192,000; Matched Funding: $298,000 -- The project will install a second wash-line to be specifically used for green plastic flake for use in manufacturing new plastic products. The unit will free up Global’s existing wash-line for the production of clear plastic flake. Estimated job creation = 30.
Local Contact: Nadim Bahou, (951) 657-5466

R3 Consulting Group, Inc.; Sacramento County; Granted $300,000 -- The project will conduct a feasibility study for transition to a beverage system that includes more refillable bottles in the mix of beverage containers in California. The study will outline the changes that would be required in current law, collection and processing, infrastructure and manufacturing in order to support the use of more refillables in the state.
Local Contact: William Schoen, (916) 576-0306

EPIC Plastics; San Joaquin County; Granted $774,800; Matched Funding $224,500: The project will expand and update Epic Plastics’ raw materials processing capabilities through advanced technological machinery. This will permit Epic to solidify a partnership with an outside plastic pipe manufacturer to supply the manufacturer with recycled post consumer plastic bottles and consolidate the sales and deliveries. Job creation = 15.
Local Contact: Francis Cvetovac, (209) 365-2114

Vetrazzo, LLC; Contra Costa County; Granted $1,396,000; Matched Funding: $7,421,000 -- This project will add cleaning equipment to reduce contamination and improve cleanliness of raw glass material. It will also produce countertop samples. Estimated jobs created = 29.
Local Contact: James Sheppard, (510) 772-7770

Featured Grant Recipients:

Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc.; Stanislaus County; Granted $4,935,000; Matched Funding: $22,251,550 -- Local Contact: Antoine (Tony) Moucachen, 604)522-6799

REPSCO, Inc.; Fresno County; Granted $995,240; Matched Funding: $6,801,441 --
Local Contact: Paul Bennett, (303) 294-0364 x101

CR&R Incorporated; Riverside County; Granted $730,000; Matched Funding: $25,005,955 --
Local Contact: CR&R Incorporated, (714) 826-9049