- Recycling Pilot Project Program Opportunities. The CalRecycle Pilot Project Program is designed to assist jurisdictions that lack CRV beverage container recycling opportunities for their residents. Recent amendments to the program allow more flexibility for operating pilot projects and limited funding availability. For more information, use this link to the CalRecycle Pilot Program web page.
- New Reporting Requirement for Importation of Beverage Container Materials. Effective immediately there are new reporting and inspection requirements for anyone importing empty beverage container materials into California.
- Precertification Training Requirements for Recycling Centers & Processors. As of January 1, 2014, everyone wishing to submit a new or renewal application for certification as a recycling center or processor must first attend precertification training and pass an exam.
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 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.
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.
for California Redemption Value (CRV)
- Beer and Malt Beverages
- Wine Coolers
- Carbonated Fruit Drinks,
Water, or Soft Drinks
- Noncarbonated Fruit
Drinks, Water, or Soft
- Coffee and Tea Beverages
- 100% Fruit Juice less than 46 oz.
- Vegetable Juice 16 oz. or less
for California Redemption Value (CRV)
- Medical Food
- Infant Formula
- 100% Fruit Juice 46 oz. or
- 100% Vegetable Juice
more than 16 oz.
- Food and Non-Beverage
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.
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.