More bottle and can redemptions coming to California communities without recycling centers in new CVS agreement with CalRecycle

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: March 1, 2022
News Release #2022-01
Media Contact: Office of Public Affairs
916-322-4027 | OPA@calrecycle.ca.gov

Soon more Californians will be able to redeem their bottle and can deposits, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership between CVS Health Corp. and CalRecycle. CVS has agreed to install 20 reverse vending machines at CVS sites in unserved areas of the state.

CVS will also pay CalRecycle a settlement amount of $1 million dollars restitution in disputed back fees for bottle and can redemption obligations.

“We appreciate CVS’s willingness to participate in this landmark agreement, partnering with CalRecycle to invest in innovations that will help California communities redeem and recycle their bottles and cans,” CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner said. “Instead of simply settling a penalty for disputed compliance issues, the company is working with us to help modernize this important recycling program.”

“We’re committed to minimizing our CVS Pharmacy stores’ environmental footprint and contributing to healthier, more sustainable communities,” said Maureen Cormier, Division Vice President, CVS Pharmacy. “We’re continuously working with our stores that participate in the in-store California Refund Value (CRV) program to ensure that eligible recyclable containers are accepted and refunds are provided. In addition, we look forward to working with CalRecycle on the Reverse Vending Machine initiative, as well as other innovative new ways to ensure communities have accessible and convenient ways to recycle.”

Under CRV recycling law, retailers in defined zones without a recycling center must refund the 5 or 10 cent fee on CRV containers in-store or pay $100 a day.

Reverse Vending Machine Pilot Project

In addition to providing places for more Californians to redeem their CRV fees, the five-year pilot project will give CalRecycle data to analyze the potential for widespread use of reverse vending machines throughout the state. This first-of-its-kind agreement will place machines at CVS stores to provide the greatest diversity of demographics and population density in urban and rural areas.

CVS agreed to install the machines within a year and operate them for all open store hours.

At a Glance: California’s Beverage Container Recycling Program

Californians have recycled more than 426 billion bottles and cans since in 1986.

  • Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act set a financial value on beverage containers to encourage recycling.
  • Californians recycled 18 billion CRV beverage containers in 2019.
  • California set the highest plastic minimum recycled content goals in the world, requiring 50 percent recycled plastic in new containers by 2030.

Locate the nearest certified recycling centers or retailers required to redeem CRV deposits in-store. Report issues redeeming CRV at (1-800-RECYCLE) or email complaints@calrecycle.ca.gov


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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.