Is It Better To Recycle By Weight Or Count?

Many homeowners are wondering if they are getting their money’s worth anytime their plastics are recycled. It is a cause for concern really because you may be paid below what you ought to be paid in the first place. That triggered the question “is it better to recycle by weight or by count” because that would help you figure out the kind of recycling process that yields more profit.

The California Refund Value

The California Refund Value otherwise called “CRV” is the amount paid to consumers at the checkout stand. It is that amount that is also paid to the consumers anytime they recycle specific items, such as plastics, bi-metal beverage containers and aluminum.

The California Refund Value (CRV) has a vital role to play in the amount to be paid to consumers, especially with the base value is placed on such items. For instance, consumers that present eligible beverage containers above 24 ounces are paid 10 cents per container while those that present eligible beverage containers less than 24 ounces are paid 5 cents per container. It is therefore used as a benchmark to determine how much will be paid to the owners of such recyclable items.

That notwithstanding, it has become imperative to look for other ways of determining the prices and values of recyclable items. The debate now is if it is better to recycle those items based on their count or do the same by their weight. The answers are provided below.

Recycling by Weight or by Count: The Facts

It is true that you are looking to get more refunds for your recycled items. You understand that it can be tricky to decide for the count option as against the weight option and vice versa. Being at this crossroad, you are wondering about the option that can be feasible over the other.

The first point you must note is that not all beverage containers are created equal. Some can weigh less but bring in more refunds if counted. Given that, it is likely that you will earn more if you settle for the count option, especially in a situation that the containers have specific features, such as shape, weights, and sizes.

It is for that reason that the State is required to come up with specific parameters that will make it easier for consumers to receive the property CRV reimbursements no matter the kind of containers they brought for recycling.

Recycling by Count

First things first – you can choose to recycle your containers and any other kind of recyclable item by using the count option. Some factors must be considered if you are settling for this.

  • Recycle Lighter and Smaller Containers

The first point to note is that you should recycle by count if the containers are lighter and smaller. The idea is informed by the fact that the lighter or smaller the containers are, the more containers they would weigh by pound.

Is It Better To Recycle By Weight Or Count
  • Understand the Numbers

You cannot just decide to recycle by count because you feel it gives more refunds. Instead, according to the California law, consumers can only be allowed to recycle by count if their containers are up to 50 of each material type.

Going by the provisions and rules made to that effect in the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 5, Section 2535(b), Recycling Centers are directed to comply with that rule, especially when the consumers cite them.

Consumers are also expected to bring the full load of their containers and demand to get paid on a per-container basis. The Recycling Centers will also honor that and go by the basic California Refund Value (CRV) payment ranging between 5 to 10 cents depending on the numbers of the containers and provided the containers are up to 50 of each recyclable material.


It is important that the consumers inform the Recycling Centers or the Site Attendant of the numbers of containers they came with and how they intend to be paid.

Recycling by Weight

Recycling by weight isn’t a bad idea and we will prove it. It is important to point out that in some cases, the containers in question may not be lighter or smaller. In such cases, it is imperative to recycle them by weight because that will bring more refunds.

Aside from that, the points below aptly captured some of the reasons why recycling by weight is the real deal:

  • Recycle by Weight if Containers are Heavier

Are your beverage containers heavier and larger? You will discover that it isn’t profitable to recycle them by count. In that case, the best thing to do is to recycle the containers by weight.

  • Business Efficiency

The Recycling Centers may not have all the time in the world to sort your beverage containers before recycling them by count. That is why it is important to use the weight option, which bolsters the efficiency of such recycling sites. All the Site Attendant(s) needs to do is to take the weight of the containers, and note it down before recycling.

Is It Better To Recycle By Weight Or Count?

Important Points

It doesn’t matter if you are using the recycling by count or the recycling by weight option. You need to understand other facts about either of them you choose to go for.

  • Minimum Per-Pound Rates

In the case of recycling by weight, the Beverage Container Recycling Program already established a guideline on the rates to be paid to beverage container consumers anytime their containers are recycled by weight.

  • Lower Refund Value

The expected values of the beverage containers to be recycled may be lower. Such can happen if the Recycling Centers found out that the containers are contaminated with foreign substances, such as dirt and moisture.

  • Payment for Scrap

If you are feeling shortchanged by the refund paid to you, you need to stop feeling that way. That is because the Recycling Centers sometimes pay an additional amount for the scrap value of the materials you brought for recycling.

Recycle by Weight or Count

Either of the recycling by weight or by count is feasible. You only need to apply the tips in the article and ask the Site Attendant(s) for directions on what to do.

Which recycling method do you prefer and why?