How to Recycle Non-CRV Plastic Locally

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CRV items, like soda bottles, can usually be dropped off at your local grocery outlet for recycling.
CRV items, like soda bottles, can usually be dropped off at your local grocery outlet for recycling. (Image: bottle image by tofuwarrior from Fotolia.com)

CRV stands for California Redemption Value and applies to certain cans and bottles. When these items are purchased, the customer pays the CRV, which is usually five to 10 cents, and is given the CRV back when she returns the item. Recycling CRV items is generally simple as most larger grocery outlets will collect CRV items on the premises. Typical plastic non-CRV items include certain types of milk and juice jugs, baby formula bottles and other plastic items and containers that do not bear a CRV label. Recycling non-CRV plastics locally, though it can require a bit of extra work and research, is an important step in lessening your environmental impact.

Contact your city in person, on the phone or via its website to find out whether your city offers curbside pick-up for non-CRV recycling. This is often the simplest way to recycle most items. Sometimes you will need to call your city's garbage and recycling services to arrange pick-up at your residence. If you live in an apartment, ask your property manager what the building's recycling policy is. You will usually be required to pay a fee for recycling and garbage pick-up.

Sort your recycling according to your city's requirements. Many cities will require you to separate glass bottles from plastic bottles for safety reasons. Some will require that plastics be separated from metal and paper as well. Recycling bins will usually be provided when you sign up for your city's recycling pick-up.

Go to your local recycling center if your city does not provide non-CRV recycling pick-up or if you are attempting to recycle items that your city will not collect. Contact your city for information on local recycling centers, or use databases compiled by organizations such as Earth 911 or the Recycling Center to locate centers near you. You will need to transport your plastics to the recycling center yourself.

Tips & Warnings

  • Though the casings for many cell phones, computers and other electronic devices are plastic, these items contain hazardous materials that need to be recycled separately and should not be placed in landfills. If you are trying to recycle one of these items, contact your local electronics store for information on proper disposal.

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