How Much Do We Actually Recycle in California?

A lot. 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. For a state that is home to 38 million people, that number seems pretty impressive. California continues to lead the nation in total quantity of bottles and cans recycled.

According to the report, 4,504,934,972 aluminum cans were purchased from July to December in 2011 with 4,276,266,506 of those cans getting recycled – that’s a 95% recycling rate!

The overall recycling rate for the first half of 2011 was 86% The second half calendar year recycling rate was lower than the first half at 79%, which is consistent with the trend observed over the life of the recycling program.

The overall recycling rate for California for the calendar year 2011 was 82%. Do you think that number is good – or should we be doing better?

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