Recycling For Cash
More industrious kids, and even some adults for that matter, might go around the neighborhood to collect bottles from neighbors or pick up the discards along the roadway. It was not unlike some of the recyclers we see today, except then in was not thought of as recycling, but just returning the empties. Recycling is something that was not a particularly big issue prior to the 1970s, but it was a common practice for many things. The soft drink manufacturors provided the incentive for the bottles to be returned so that they could reuse them, and in turn save money.
When no deposit no return containers came on the market, it was convenient because now you could just throw them away. However, issues of more landfill waste and roadside litter called for a solution to the problems that accompanied the use of these containers. Recycling started to become a more highly promoted issue in the 70s, but more incentive was needed to keep consumers from merely throwing away what could be recycled.
In 1987, California put the California Redemption Value (CRV) into effect. This CRV is a fee that is charged for certain recyclables. The CRV acronym also stands for California Refund Value which is the amount that is paid by the recycling companies to consumers who return their containers. It is rare to see recyclable containers as litter for any length of time. Many people scavenge trash cans in public places, pick up roadside discards, and even illegally raid household recycle bins that are set out on trash day.
I have always kept my recyclables and cashed them in myself. Storage is no big hassle. I keep the cans, glass, and plastic bottles separated in trash bags in my garage. It usually takes a few months for any appreciable amount to accumulate and I normally only go to the recycle center three or four times per year. My most recent trip was shortly after my daughters came to visit. With all of the company and a party, we quickly added to the accumulation of recyclables and after they left it was time to cash in the containers.
My Load of CRV Recyclables
With the rear portion of my van loaded up with bags of aluminum cans and plastic and glass bottles, I headed to my closest recycle center at 9 AM on a Tuesday morning.
The Recycle Center