Program News

Welcome to California's Beverage Container Recycling Program. Whether you’re a consumer who wants to redeem your empty bottles and cans for cash, a recycling center operator who needs the latest industry updates, or anyone else with an interest in beverage container recycling, you’ll find the information you need on these pages.

CalRecycle, officially known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. Beverage containers covered under the act are subject to California Redemption Value (CRV), which is 5 cents for containers less than 24 ounces, 10 cents for containers 24 ounces or larger. Thanks to the CRV cash incentive, more than 300 billion aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers have been recycled since the program began in 1987.

Many communities in California now offer curbside collection in addition to beverage container recycling centers. To find your closest recycling center, check out the Where to Recycle Map for the nearest recycling center near you. Commercial businesses (and multifamily residential dwellings of five units or more) are now required by law (AB 341, Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011) to arrange for recycling services if they generate more than four cubic yards of commercial solid waste.

Californians Recycle

Californians bought more than 23 billion carbonated and noncarbonated CRV-eligible drinks in aluminum, glass, plastic, and bi-metal containers in 2015. More than 18.6 billion of those containers were recycled, saving natural resources, conserving energy, extending the life of our landfills, and helping to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.

California Redemption Value

Consumers pay California Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer, and receive CRV refunds when they redeem the containers at a recycling center. Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers are eligible for CRV. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits, which are not included in the CRV program. CRV is 5 cents for each beverage container less than 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.

Find A Nearby Recycling Center

Just enter your ZIP code to find a bottle & can redemption center near you.

Recycling Rates

Biannual Report of Beverage Container Sales, Returns, Redemption, and Recycling Rates

Important Consumer Refund Info

CRV Redemption

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.

Eligible

for California Redemption Value (CRV)

  • Beer and Malt Beverages
  • Wine Coolers
  • Carbonated Fruit Drinks,
    Water, or Soft Drinks
  • Noncarbonated Fruit
    Drinks, Water, or Soft
    Drinks
  • Coffee and Tea Beverages
  • 100% Fruit Juice less than 46 oz.
  • Vegetable Juice 16 oz. or less

Not Eligible

for California Redemption Value (CRV)

  • Milk
  • Medical Food
  • Infant Formula
  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • 100% Fruit Juice 46 oz. or
    more
  • 100% Vegetable Juice
    more than 16 oz.
  • Food and Non-Beverage
    Containers

When in Doubt

Check the label on the container

  • "California Redemption Value"
  • "CA Redemption Value"
  • "California Cash Refund"
  • "CA CRV"
  • "CA Cash Refund"

Per-Container Redemption vs. By Weight

Customers may request to be paid by count for up to 50 CRV beverage containers of each material type per day: 50 glass, 50 aluminum, 50 plastic. Daily load limits of empty CRV beverage containers are 100 pounds each for aluminum and plastic, and 1,000 pounds for glass. Any consumer who has been denied this right by a recycling center can file a complaint via email or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

Redeem Clean, Eligible Containers

Make sure your containers are whole and free of contaminants such as dirt, excessive liquid or other foreign substances. If you are being paid by weight, make sure the load contains only eligible CRV beverage containers.

Non-CRV Materials

State law requires recycling centers to pay California Redemption Value (CRV) refunds for loads that contain ONLY eligible CRV beverage containers. Non-CRV materials must be removed from the load, or the recycling center may reject the load or pay only the scrap value for the material.