California takes the beauty of our state and the long-term wellbeing of our Earth very seriously. This is why our CRV recycling program was established. We want to tell you more about CRV, including why it’s a bit different from similar programs in other states. 

What is the CRV Recycling Program?

California Redemption Value (CRV), also known as California Refund Value, is a regulatory fee paid on recyclable beverage containers in the U.S. state of California. The fee was established by the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act of 1986. 

To put it a bit more plainly, CRV is the amount paid to consumers when they recycle 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.

The CRV is essential to our state’s high beverage container recycling rate and our low beverage container litter rate. By putting a monetary value on recycling, consumers are much more likely to recycle, not litter or trash, these beverage containers. Currently, state certified recycling centers pay a minimum of $1.66 CRV for aluminum cans, $1.33 CRV for clear PET plastic bottles, $0.58 CRV for HDPE plastic bottles, and $0.10 CRV for glass bottles. These rates change periodically.

How is the CRV Recycling Program in California Different?

Other states have similar bottle bills and deposit laws, including Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, New York, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont. While some states do have recycling programs of their own, they’re not the same as our CRV. Bills in other states charge the consumer a deposit that is refunded by the retailer when the beverage containers are returned to the retailer. 

That’s not how we do it in California. Here, distributors that sell eligible beverage containers to retailers make California redemption payments to CalRecycle. The cost of these payments is passed on to consumers like you! You are paid the CRV when they return empty beverage containers to certified recycling centers. 

Another unique feature of the California program is that a processing fee is assessed on beverage manufacturers whose beverage containers cost more to recycle than they are worth as scrap value when recycled.

Make the Most of California’s the CRV Recycling Program

You may have noticed above that California tells us you must send your CRV items to a recycling center in order to receive your cash. The official documents also go on to say that a recycling center is an operation certified by the Department to accept empty beverage containers and pay CRV to consumers. Recycling centers are operated by independent businesses, not the State of California.

If you recycle with us, you don’t have to actually take your items to the recycling center. We’ll come to you! We provide collection bags and bar code tracking labels to you to sort your CRV aluminum cans, plastic, and glass bottles. All you have to do is schedule a pick-up online and put your items out for us to pick up and you’re done!