The Buyback

The Buyback is a certified recycling center that redeems consumers’ container refund. We abide by all state rules and regulations. We were established in 1982 in partnership with the City of Berkeley.  Thank you for participating in California’s recycling program it helps the community by providing jobs and benefits the environment by saving resources.

CRV Information

California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater including Wine and Distilled Spirits beginning 1-1-2024. If the Wine or Distilled Spirits is in a box, bladder, or pouch, or similar container, regardless of the container material type the redemption value will be 25 cents. Berkeley Recycling pays for individual containers up to 50. Otherwise we pay by weight.

Typical CRV containers:

  • Beer and Malt Beverages
  • Wine Coolers
  • Carbonated Fruit Drinks, Water, or Soft Drinks
  • Noncarbonated Fruit Drinks, Water, or Soft Drinks
  • Coffee and Tea Beverages
  • 100% Fruit Juice less than 46 oz.
  • Vegetable Juice 16 oz. or less

… and effective January 1/2024 …

  • Distilled spirits in any container including box, bladder or pouch or other material
  • Wine, or wine from which alcohol has been removed, in whole or part, whether or not sparkling or carbonated, in any container including box, bladder or pouch or other material

What symbol to look for:

  • CA CRV
  • California Redemption Value
  • CA Redemption Value
  • California Cash Refund

All Buyback material is thoroughly inspected any previously baled containers or containers filled with liquid or any other substance will be rejected. Please be courteous and patient with our staff. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

How do I sell my stuff at Berkeley Recycle?

  • First, look at the Materials Preparation page to learn how to prepare your materials. Please prepare materials before you arrive at the Buyback.
  • Take your recyclables to Second and Gilman Streets in Berkeley. Enter the Buyback at the first gate on Second Street. Wait in line by the stop sign. See map.
  • If you must sort your materials on-site pull into one of the parking spots at the right after the entrance. Get back in line once your materials are properly sorted.
  • When the customer ahead of you is at the scales you should ready your Buyback materials to be unloaded from your vehicle and weighed one at a time.
  • When directed, take your recyclables to the Buyback scales. Be prepared to off-load your materials when instructed by the scale aide. Please ensure you dump your materials in the appropriate bin/conveyor.
  • Large, single material loads (bulk) will be directed to a forklift bin for off-loading.
  • Pull your vehicle up to the end of the buyback area to free the scales for the next customer. Then get your weight tag from the scale attendant.
  • Give your weight tag to the representative at the payment window at the main office. We do not pay cash. Be prepared to present your government issued ID[?] if your recyclables exceed the weight limit.
  • When you have received your check* please exit through the Gilman exit.

*We do not re-issue lost or stolen checks

Daily limits

Per-Container Redemption vs. By Weight

Customers may request to be paid by count for up to 50 CRV beverage containers of each material type per transaction: 50 glass, 50 aluminum, 50 plastic. Daily load limits of empty CRV beverage containers are 100 pounds each for aluminum and plastic, and 1,000 pounds for glass. Any consumer who has been denied this right by a recycling center can file a complaint via email or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

ID presentation

ID is required when processing recyclables at the Buyback for over $100 worth of materials.

Buyback Prices

Containers (by pound)

100% CRV* non-CRV
*CRV stands for California Redemption Value and refers to a “deposit” on containers that is paid when the container is purchased. All prices subject to change without notice.
Aluminum Cans$1.65$0.10
Glass bottles and jars$0.105$0.01
#1 (PET) plastic bottles$1.33$0.02
#2 (HDPE) plastic bottles$0.58$0.02

Containers (by count)*

less than 24 oz. greater than 24 oz
* CRV stands for California Redemption Value and refers to a “deposit” on containers that is paid when the container is purchased.
** Only applies to CRV containers
Aluminum Cans$0.05$0.10
Glass bottles and jars$0.05$0.10
Bi-metal cans$0.05$0.10
#3 thru #7 plastic bottles$0.05$0.10

Other materials purchased

per pound per ton
Scrap aluminum, aluminum foil$0.10N/A

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