As an incentive to get more Californians to recycle, the California Refund Value was increased as of Jan. 1 of this year, but will not go into effect until July 1.
Consumers currently pay a CRV of 4 cents for beverage containers under 24 oz., such as soda cans and bottled water, and 8 cents for containers that are 24 oz. or larger. Due to the passage of AB 3056, consumers will now be paying 5 cents for beverage containers under 24 oz., and 10 cents for containers of 24 oz. or larger.
The CRV rate would not have gone up if a minimum rate of 75 percent recycling rate had been achieved in 2006.
While an additional penny or two may not seem like much, consider that in the first six months of 2006 there were more than 9.5 billion beverage containers sold in California alone.
Graham Johnson, a recycling specialist with the Department of Conservation, said people recycle more whenever there is an increase in the CRV. For example, after the 1.5 cent CRV increase in 2004, there was a 3 percent increase in recycling, a 2005 report from the Department of Conservation shows.
Hugo Santeno, a junior sociology major, said he drinks at least two cans of soda a day and has become more conscious about recycling at home.
“I’m happy the CRV is going up if that means that the cash out will also be going up,” Santeno said.
Cyndi Signett, recycling coordinator for Associated Students’ University Recycling Services, considers the increase in the CRV to be a great step toward recycling goals.
“It will hopefully encourage consumers to recycle more,” Signett said. She added that the increase in the CRV will increase the revenue that A.S. Recycling Services brings in.
Signett said all of the revenue that Recycling Services collects from recycled material is deducted from the overall budget the program receives from A.S.
A.S. Recycling Services is considered a community service because students do not get paid for the beverage containers they turn in, but the program does offer students and staff several different alternatives for recycling. There are more than 160 recycling bin locations on campus and in housing. Thirty-six of the locations are specifically designated for collecting beverage containers.
Recently, Recycling Services added Braille reading strips on all beverage container recycling bins on campus as a way of including the blind in the recycling initiative.
But Signett said that recycling bottles and cans is only a small portion of what A.S. Recycling Services does. It also collects paper, cardboard, pallets, cell phones, ink jets, laser toners, asphalt and concrete.
In fact, the California Integrated Waste Management Board requires state agencies such as state universities to divert at least 50 percent of their solid waste away from landfills. Toni Manzella, administrative assistant in Physical Plant Management, said the university has always met its goal.
The recycling program also gives back to its students through educational events such as Earth Fair, which will take place in April.
Vanessa Benitez, education team leader with A.S. Recycling Services said that during events such as Earth Fair, students are given free T-shirts, pencils, and sometimes even mugs made out of recycled material.
Signett said that recycling also means buying recycled products.
“We practice what we preach,” Signett said.