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New State CRV Rules Impacting Bottle Collection

Wine and liquor bottles no longer paid for at CRV

A heads-up to Santa Barbara bars, restaurants, wineries, and retailers as we enter the holiday season: your friendly nighttime bottle collector may start leaving your wine and liquor bottles behind due to new State rules. Keeping your trash area clean is your responsibility.   
For residents, you can still take wine and liquor bottles to a CRV glass collection center, but you will be paid scrap rate.

The City does not regulate CRV or local bottle collectors, but we did want to help clarify and explain, since MarBorg and many businesses are noting that bottles normally left for collectors are now being abandoned. 
A new law out of Sacramento means CRV redemption centers are no longer paying for wine and spirits bottles. However, they are still 100% recyclable in your blue bin.

  • What: State CRV Buyback Centers are no longer taking wine and liquor bottles
  • When: as of November 1
  • Effect: local bottle collectors may no longer be taking your bottles

You Must:
  1. Keep Your Bottles Out of Public View: recycle them or stash them, but they can't pile up

  2. Make Sure MarBorg Can Access Your Carts and Dumpsters

  3. Adjust Your Recycling Service as Necessary: call MarBorg at 963-1852 to make changes if you don't have enough blue bin service

What Changed?

After 26 years, a big change has come to the CRV buyback program. In order to ensure the fiscal integrity of the CRV (California Redemption Value) program, Gov. Brown just signed a law stating that consumer loads that contain non-CRV materials won't be bought back at CRV centers. Wine bottles, liquor bottles, and milk jugs are not purchased with a 5 or 10 cent CRV payment like most aluminum cans, glass beer bottles, and water bottles. However, in the past, people redeeming these items at CRV centers along with the CRV items would receive a slightly reduced "comingled" rate. Now, they will only get a scrap rate. For more on the state changes.

What This Means For You:
  • Less Bottle Gathering: The market for wine and liquor bottles have changed. Pending future shifts, this makes it less profitable for bottle collectors to gather those recyclables. Many local businesses are noticing that bottles traditionally taken overnight are now being left behind.
  • Keep Access to Your Trash Clear: Businesses cannot have their carts, dumpsters, or trash enclosure doors blocked when MarBorg comes for your containers. If access is blocked, your bins may be left behind and you may be charged a go-back fee. Keep bottles out of the way.
  • Adjust Your Blue Bin Service: We are more than happy to have all glass containers (along with all plastics) in your blue recycling bin. Recycling service costs just 50% as much as trash service. Call MarBorg at 963-1852 to easily increase the size of your blue containers or their frequency of pickup.

(Photo: Flickr/BinaryApe)

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2018
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