As more recycling centers close as a result of SB 402's veto, the number of unserved convenience zones is growing. Under California's Bottle Bill, all retailers that occupy an supermarket zone unserved by a recycling center must accept beverage containers at all registers for recycling.
Andrew Galvin writes in the OC Watchdog blog in the OC Register that the in-store take back that happens in these "unserved" zones is actually more convenient than using behind-store "convenience zones" recyclers in "served" zones:
If there is a recycling center in a convenience zone, stores in that zone do not have to take returns. Since many zones overlap, multiple zones are served by a single recycling center in some cases. However, in "unserved zones" with no recycling center, stores that sell beverages must accept container returns or pay a $100 per day fine. It turns out that your Watchdog stumbled into an "unserved zone" when he drove across Beach Boulevard. Unserved zone? Maybe that’s what they call it. But it feels a lot more convenient to your Watchdog.