What is CRV?

Learn About CRV:

Tips for Recycling California Beverage Containers

CRV (California Redemption Value) is a California fee placed on certain beverage containers. It provides a financial incentive to recycle these containers. This fee is initially paid by the manufacturers and is passed to the consumer when they purchase beverages at retail stores, from vending machines or anywhere in California.

Following are a few frequently asked questions about CRV and how to redeem containers to receive the California Redemption Value back:


    Which beverage containers are subject to California Redemption Value (CRV)?
    CRV is paid on bottled carbonated and non-carbonated water, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks and sport drinks, coffee and tea, beer and malt beverages, and 100% fruit juices in containers smaller than 46 fl. oz. If you are not sure whether a container has a California Redemption Value, look for a symbol on the container. Symbols include “CA CASH REFUND,” “CA CRV,” “California Redemption Value,” “CA Redemption Value,” and “California Cash Refund.”

    How much do consumers pay for CRV at the store and vending machines?
    Consumers pay $1.20 in CRV on a case of water, soda or beer. On each individual container, consumers pay 5 or 10 cents depending on the container size. For fewer than 50 containers of each type (aluminum, plastic, etc.), RecycleWise returns the CRV collected amount, 5 cents or 10 cents per container, depending upon the size. To provide faster service for all customers, RecycleWise pays the per pound rate set by the State of California when one has more than 50 containers. In addition to the original incentive amount, a nickel or dime, RecycleWise pays scrap value of the material, whether it is aluminum, plastic, bi-metal, or glass.

    Why take my CRV beverage containers to RecycleWise instead of putting them in the recycle bin for trash pickup?
    The trash collection company will recycle these beverage containers and collect the CRV, but they will not pay the redemption value and scrap value of the materials to the consumer. Waste haulers will keep this money. Consumers and small businesses pay a nickel or dime per container and the waste haulers get the refund. It isn’t an insignificant amount of money. The State of California has estimated that the average family of four consumes more than 2000 CRV beverages in one year, worth more than $100 in CRV alone.

    Why is recycling beverage containers important?
    Californians consume a lot of beverages and the containers could fill many landfills. By recycling beverage containers, landfill space is conserved and the amount of energy needed to manufacture new products from raw materials is reduced. For every 10 lbs. of aluminum recycled, 37 lbs. of carbon emissions are eliminated from the air. For every 10 lbs. of clear plastic bottles recycled, 3.3 lbs. of carbon emissions disappear. Ten lbs. of recycled glass reduces carbon emissions by about one pound. In a landfill, aluminum cans take 80-100 years to decompose, plastic bottles take as long as 700 years, and glass will not decompose for 1 million years.

    What's the best way to redeem CRV?
    Place empty materials in containers other than the recycle bin provided by the garbage company. When approximately 50 pounds of material or less are saved up, bring them to RecycleWise. RecycleWise is nearby and it could not be any easier. RecycleWise offers clean, safe, indoor recycling and pays the highest market rates for materials.