Convenient Beverage Container Recycling in California

June  17, 2019


To: All Interested Parties

Subject: Convenient Beverage Container Recycling in California

CalRecycle commissioned this report to better understand what Californians perceive to be “convenient recycling opportunities” and to assist the department in crafting good policies for the future of the beverage container recycling program.
Please note that this report is still in draft form and contains typographical errors and terminology inconsistencies that will be addressed when a final report is issued. While the data in the report is relevant to any discussion regarding convenience, it is important to note that the findings in this report do not reflect the opinions or policies of CalRecycle or the administration. In particular, the report recommends or implies that allowing low-volume handling fee recycling centers to close without providing any alternative for redemption would be cost effective and would not negatively affect the overall recycling rate. While it may be true that such closures would save money and might not significantly affect the recycling rate, such a policy is inconsistent with the stated goal of the Beverage Container Recycling Program “…to establish sufficient recycling centers and locations to provide consumers with convenient recycling opportunities…” (Public Resources Code Section 14501(f)) and is not supported by CalRecycle.

2019 U.C. Berkeley Report: Convenient Beverage Recycling in California

CalRecycle wishes to acknowledge lead researcher Professor Peter Berck for his important contributions to the understanding of beverage container recycling in California. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family, coworkers, and students. Professor Berck unfortunately passed away shortly after this draft was completed. A fitting tribute prepared by the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources can be found here: