Avoid Tricks of the Trade with a Reputable CRV Center

Recycling is something that all responsible citizens take part in. In addition to receiving the refund value for CRV items (aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass, etc.), you get the satisfaction of knowing that, through recycling, you’re making a difference in the future of the planet. Through recycling, pollution and the release of toxins are reduced, there’s less need for mining and fewer natural resources are affected.

Unfortunately, there are some groups that are taking advantage of the system in California. These shady businesses may even be non-certified and illegally underpay you for your CRV items. Cases of fraud have been reported. In one case, a Little League group collected CRV items in the community and took them to different recycling centers, finding that there was a wide range of prices offered for the items, suggesting that some centers are underpaying. There have also been cases of CRV fraud, where groups bring in CRV items from out of state, illegally earning refund revenue from items not purchased in California.

There’s a simple solution that can help you avoid encountering these problems: only recycle at a reputable CRV center. How can you tell if you’ve found one?


Any reputable and certified recycling center or beverage container retailers or dealers will have clear signs at the entrance to the business. These signs indicate the nearest certified recycling center. At recycling centers, signs will indicate the price paid and the certification information.


All certifications are listed by CalRecycle. You can find a list of certified centers near your city by following this link.


Know the minimum prices that centers can pay out for CRV items. You can double check on CalRecycle’s website, but going rates are 5 cents per container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container over 24 ounces. Prices per pound fluctuate and typically CRV amounts of over 50 containers are paid by the pound. Check the website for details.

Know the Rules

There are cases in which recycling centers are allowed to pay less than the minimum rates. If your containers are dirty or contaminated, you may be paid at a discounted rate.

Pay Attention to the Scales

Shady operations may use faulty scales to charge consumers less for their CRV items. If possible, weigh your items at home to ensure there isn’t a significant difference in the measurements.

What if things seem off?

If you suspect that you’ve found a recycling center that’s violating the law by using an adjusted scale, you should report this to the county department of weights and measures. Any other suspected violations and fraudulent recycling activities such as bringing in CRV items from out of state or activity at the recycling center after hours should also be reported. You can help ensure that laws are followed and the integrity of our recycling system is upheld by reporting fraud and violations to the Division of Recycling hotline.

Ecology offers five certified CRV recycling centers in the LA area where we also accept scrap metal. We look forward to serving you with our streamlined recycling services.