California might be the most populous state in the country at nearly 38 million people, but it’s high recycling rates are still staggering.
According to CalRecycle’s Biannual Report of Beverage Container Sales, Returns, Redemption, and Recycling Rates, released last week, Californians recycled over 16 billion beverage containers in 2011.
The recycling rate stayed basically flat from the year before, but the California recycling program recovers one-fifth of all beverage containers that are recycled in the U.S. annually, Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, tells Resource Recycling.
California’s recyclers made about $300 million last year recovering recyclable scrap.
In the first half of the year, the state’s overall recycling rate was 86 percent. The second half of the year saw a drop in recycling to 79 percent. The year end drop, CalRecycle says, is a trend they see annually. That brings 2011’s overall recycling rate to 82 percent.
For a detailed rundown of California’s 2011 recycling rates by container type, view the full report. (PDF)
Editor’s note: Revenue generated from recycling material goes to California’s individual recycling businesses, not to the state’s general fund, as was implied by the originally published story.