California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Beverage Container Handling Fees

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can CalRecycle make handling fee payments to more than one operational recycling center in a zone?

No they cannot. The current law does not allow the department to make multiple handling fee payments to two or more operational recycling centers located in the same zone.

Can CalRecycle make a separate handling fee payment to a recycling center for every convenience zone it is located in?

No they cannot. If a single recycling center is located in more than one convenience zone, the department can only pay a single handling fee payment to the recycling center. Also, the handling fee payment cannot be split between the various convenience zones the recycling center is in.

Recycling center #1 is handling fee-eligible according to the Division's guidelines, and is located in convenience zones A, B and C. It can only claim handling fees in one of those zones.

Can a second recycling center that becomes operational in a zone cause the first recycling center serving the zone to become ineligible to receive handling fees?

If the first recycling center is handling fee site-eligible, it will become ineligible to receive monthly handling fees 60 days from the second recycler's operational date if they become concurrently operational in the same zone.

Example:

Recycling center #1 becomes operational April 25, 2014. All other conditions being met, its eligibility for handling fees goes into effect for the calendar month of May since that is the first full month of operation. Recycling center # 2 begins operation on May 5th. Recycling center #1 keeps its eligibility to receive handling fees 60 days from the May 5th date or until July 5th. Since handling fee eligibility is determined as of the first of each month, recycling center #1 is eligible to claim handling fees for the entire months of June and July.

Is the second recycling center in Question 4 penalized for causing the first recycling center serving the zone to become ineligible to receive handling fees?

Any recycling center that locates in a convenience zone and causes a pre-existing recycling center to become ineligible to receive handling fees is ineligible to receive handling fees in that convenience zone from that day forward. This scenario for the second recycling center is called a "permanent ban." This ineligibility, or permanent ban, for recycling center #2 will apply to its parent company, its subsidiaries, and affiliates even if recycling center #1 ceases to operate within the convenience zone.

However, if the second recycling center becomes nonoperational, then recycling center #1 may again become eligible to apply for handling fee payments in the convenience zone.

What if recycling center #1 is located in several overlapping convenience zones and it becomes ineligible in only one of the overlapping zones due to recycling center #2 becoming operational? This scenario would be due to recycling center #1 sharing a convenience zone with recycling center #2 but also being the only recycling center in another zone. Will recycling center #2 still be permanently banned since recycling center #1 will still continue to receive handling fees?

Yes. Recycling center #2 will still be permanently banned from receiving handling fees in the zone they share with recycling center #1 because it caused the first recycler to become ineligible to receive handling fees in that zone.

Example:

Recycling center #1 is located in convenience zones A, B and C. Recycling center #2 is located only in convenience zone A. Once recycling center #2 becomes operational it will be permanently banned in convenience zone A. Recycling center #1 will then be ineligible to claim handling fees for convenience zone A but could still claim handling fees for convenience zone B, since it does not share convenience zone B with any other recycling center in this example.

Under what circumstances can recycling center #2, although permanently banned in convenience zone A in the previous example, receive handling fees?

If recycling center #2 is also located in another zone that it does not share with recycling center #1, then it can claim handling fees in that zone if it meets all the other requirements for handling fees. Let's say recycling center #2 is located in convenience zones A and D. If we combine the answers for question 6 and 7, then recycling center #2 is permanently banned from ever receiving handling fees in zone A, but could receive payments due to zone D.

The number of overlapping zones, the degree of the overlap and the actual location of the two recycling centers will impact whether recycling center #2, although permanently banned in one zone, will be eligible for handling fees in another zone.

If recycling center #1 and recycling center #2 are the same company, will recycling center #2 still be permanently banned?

Yes, the law does not make a distinction in this regard. This is because the convenience zone will contain more than one certified and operational recycling center, even if it is the same recycling company.

What if both recycling centers begin operating in a zone during the same month?

If a recycling center becomes operational in a convenience zone after the first day of the month and another recycling center also becomes operational in that zone during the same month, then there will be 2 recycling centers in that zone and neither one is eligible for handling fees. Neither recycling center will be permanently banned in that zone because neither caused an eligible recycling center to become handling fee ineligible.

Example:

Recycling center #1 becomes operational April 5, 2014. Recycling center #2 begins operation on April 20, 2014. Neither one is eligible for handling fees in April since neither were operational during the entire month of April. If both are still operational on May 1st, then two recycling centers exist in the zone, and thus neither qualifies for handling fees. If one of the recycling centers becomes nonoperational during May, then the remaining one would be eligible to apply for future handling fee payments in this convenience zone in subsequent months.

If two recycling centers start operation in a zone on the 1st of the month, then neither is qualified for handling fees due to two centers in the zone and neither one is permanently banned.

What's the difference between "certified" and "operational" with regards to handling fee eligibility?

The term "certified" means the recycling center has been approved to operate by the division and the term "operational" means that the recycling center, having already been certified, is now open for business. A recycling center must become operational within 60 days of certification or the division invalidates the certification.

As long as a recycling center is certified but not operational, the law and regulations pertaining to handling fees do not apply to them. It is the operational date of a recycling center that triggers handling fee eligibility, regardless of the date the recycling center was certified.

What is the Division of Recycling policy in reference to the California Code of Regulations Section 2516 (a) that refers to ..."a recycling center shall meet all of the following criteria for handling fess fees eligibility on the first day of the month..."

The division's policy is that if a recycling center begins operation in a zone and its official business week as submitted in the application to the division does not align itself to the 1st day of the month and thus the recycling center does not operate on that day, the division refers to their first regular operational day of the month to see if they are eligible for handling fees.

Example:

The Division's records indicate that a particular recycling center will be open for business Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The recycling center's regular operational days may have it closed on the first day of the month. The Division would use the first regular business day of the month to determine the handling fee site eligibility.

Handling Fee Home Page

Last updated: April 6, 2015
Beverage Container Recyclers, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/Recyclers/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/Contacts.htm