California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Beverage Container Recycling: It's in Your Hands

Start a Recycling Program 

Any earth-minded person can complain that their office, school, or gym doesn’t have a recycling program. But the true innovators are those who stand up and do something about it. In California, we recognize the strong linkage between recycling and the benefits of resource conservation, job creation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to cut pollution and combat climate change. That’s why the law requires businesses and other public entities to recycle as much of the waste they generate as possible.

Many are complying with the law by subscribing to a recycling service as part of their routine garbage collection. Still others are making even more of a difference by changing how they handle their discards within their office, school or other locale.

Recycling beverage containers is easy and free to do. You can redeem eligible beverage containers at a local recycling center for a CRV redemption fee or by dropping containers in your curbside recycling bin. California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.

Start right here by downloading the appropriate “easy steps” flyer. It’s got all the information you’ll need to get started. Then fill out the Recycling Starter Kit order form (see the link below) and your program is off and running.

Every recycling program needs a hero. We think it ought to be you! And, if your business generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more, your business is required by law to arrange for recycling services.

Business Commercial Recycling Requirements

Assembly Bill 341 (Chesbro, Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011) set forth the requirements of the statewide mandatory commercial recycling program. The purpose is to reduce GHG emissions by diverting commercial solid waste to recycling efforts and to expand the opportunity for additional recycling services and recycling manufacturing facilities in California.

A business (includes public entities) that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services. Businesses can take one or any combination of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:

  • Self-haul,
  • Subscribe to a hauler(s).
  • Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.
  • Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.

A property owner of a commercial business or multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.
CalRecycle advises businesses to contact their local recycling coordinator to find out how to recycle in their community and if there are any specific requirements in their community. Communities may have mandatory commercial recycling ordinances with different thresholds or more specific business recycling requirements than the state law. The local recycling coordinator also may have related business opportunities and/or resources to share.

Check out some of these resources on how to introduce recycling at an office, gym, or school:

Got an experience you'd like to share? Tell us about it.

For additional help, email us. Or call 1-800-RECYCLE to reach a recycling specialist.

Recycling Starter Kits

The award-winning Recycling Starter Kit can help your business, office, school or other away-from-home location reduce its “waste” size--and maybe even save some money. The sleek black bin is the perfect place for staff and visitors to put their empty California Refund Value (CRV) beverage containers. What you do with them after that is up to you! Want cash for the office coffee supply? Take the bottles and cans to a recycling center and collect the CRV. Want to support a local scout troop or other organization? Donate the containers to them so they can get the refund. Need other information or ideas? Contact the Beverage Container Recycling Program at rsk@calrecycle.ca.gov. We look forward to helping Californians recycle their bottles and cans where they live, work and play. Recycling--it's a simple way to save energy and natural resources, and helps reduce California’s carbon footprint.

Last updated: October 19, 2017
Beverage Container Recycling, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/Consumers/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/Contacts.htm