How to Become a Certified Operator

Once you determine your category for certification, fill out the appropriate certification application and send it with other required supporting documents to:

CalRecycle/Division of Recycling
Beverage Container Recycling Program
Certification Unit
1001 I St, MS 10C
Sacramento, CA 95814-3533

Before mailing your application, make sure you have done the following:

  • Attended the Precertification Training, passed the exam, and obtained a voucher.
  • Completed all items on the application form.
  • Enclosed all required supporting documents with the applications.
  • Provided the appropriate original signature(s) and initials on the application form.

Be sure you read and understand the Requirements of Certified Operators.

The Application Process

  • CalRecycle has 30 working days to initially review your application.
  • If your application is found to be incomplete, you will be sent a letter telling you what is needed to complete your application.
  • If your application is complete when received, or completed after notification, CalRecycle has an additional 60 calendar days to further review your application and to conduct any on-site program reviews as necessary. If you have never been certified by the Division, a program review is required.
  • Upon approval of your application, CalRecycle will mail a notification of approval along with your certificate showing the certification number and expiration date and an operating manual. Operators of recycling centers will later be sent a sign or decal that identifies them to the public as a certified operator.

For Recycling Centers and Processors:

  • It is important to consider this review schedule because you cannot act as a certified operator until your application is approved.
  • Once your application is approved, you are required to begin operating within 60 calendar days or the certification number will become invalid and you will have to reapply.
    • Within five (5) days of the date you began operations, you must notify the Division of the actual date you began operations by submitting a completed Operational Date Notification.

FAQs for Precertification for Recyclers and Processors


Community Service and Dropoff or Collection Programs

Some details for applying as a Community Service or Dropoff or Collection Program may differ from those outlined above for Recyclers and Processors.

For more information, visit Beverage Container Recycling Home