May 16 - Californians Recycle Record 12.4 Billion Beverage Containers!

Californians recycled a record 12.4 billion beverage containers in 2005, the most of any state in the nation.

The growth in recycling was led by aluminum cans at 70% and glass containers at 54%. The overall recycling rate was 61%, up from a 59% recycling rate in 2004.

The 2005 recycling data was announced in a report to the California Legislature by Department of Conservation Director Bridgett Luther.

Under California's unique Bottle and Can Recycling Law, beverage distributors pay a redemption value of 4 cents on every container sold, which can be redeemed by individual consumers or curbside recycling programs when containers are recycled.

In 2005, the program paid out a record $403 million in refund values to consumers. At the same time the program provided more than $170 million to local governments and the operators of curbside recycling programs. In California, 19% of beverage container recycling occurs at curbside.