Starting Nov. 1, 2013, consumer loads of California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage containers that include non-CRV material will no longer be eligible for refunds at recycling centers in the state. The decision to halt the payments ensures the recycling fund’s fiscal integrity, CalRecycle says. The updated rule was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in early October. Prior to the change, the “commingled” per-pound payment rate was slightly lower than the CRV-only rate.
Non-CRV items include HDPE (high-density polyethylene) containers, wine and liquor bottles and food containers.
“This much-needed revision to CRV refund options will simplify transactions for consumers and recycling centers alike,” says Caroll Mortensen, director of California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), which administers the state’s beverage container recycling program. “By eliminating payments for non-CRV material, we also protect the beverage container recycling fund by ensuring CRV refunds go only toward those bottles and cans included in the program.”
Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass and plastic are subject at the register to a 5-cent charge for containers less than 24 ounces and a 10-cent charge for containers 24 ounces or larger. Notable exceptions include containers for milk, wine, distilled spirits and medical foods.
CalRecycle says that over the next several months the agency will undertake additional changes designed to strengthen the program and to protect the fiscal stability of the program’s fund. These steps will include enhanced training of recycling center owners and the adoption of regulations that will reduce the number of containers an individual can bring to a recycling center in a single day, the agency says.
CalRecycle also has proposed a state law requiring importers of out-of-state containers to enter the state through California Department of Food and Agriculture inspection stations, provide personal identification at the station and specify where they are taking the containers.