Beginning August 1, appointments will no longer be required at the Buy-Back Center for the redemption of CRV containers. Please do not visit the Buy-Back Center before August 1 unless you have a previously confirmed appointment, as all July appointment slots are full. Mask and social distancing will still be required to enter the facility.
RePlanet, the state’s largest independent recycling redemption operator, recently closed all sites in California, including two recycling centers near Nob Hill and Costco in Mountain View. What does this mean for residents? First, this closure does NOT affect residential curbside recycling. Continue to put your containers in your recycling cart for collection. Second, it only affects the Buy-Back Center at the Mountain View Recycling Center due to fewer centers being open for redemption of deposits on certain beverage bottles and cans.
For the next several months, there will be longer lines at the Buy-Back portion of the Mountain View Recycling Center. (Residents do not have to stand in line if dropping off extra cardboard and other recyclables.) To speed up lines, the center will pay by weight instead of individual count, and may issue checks for redemptions of $50 or more. Redemption lines will close 15 minutes before closing time to allow staff to serve waiting customers in line. Masks and social distancing are still required at the MVRC Buy-Back center. Again, residents may drop-off other recyclables at the center without having to stand in line.
Another option for Mountain View residents is to redeem small amounts of bottles and cans at Trader Joe's or the Safeway at San Antonio and El Camino. You may also redeem containers at the SMaRT Station located at 301 Carl Road in Sunnyvale, open daily Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
NEW HOURS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 7, 2020
|Drop-Off||Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
|Extra Garbage Stickers
Clean Up Vouchers
|Tuesday through Saturday
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
|Holidays||Center is closed on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day
(fourth Friday of November) and December 25.
Tuesday through Saturday
This facility only accepts recycling. For the City's disposal facility, use the SMaRT Station in Sunnyvale (see Related Links to the left).
The Mountain View Recycling Center also offers "Cash for Cans & Bottles" because it is a California Certified Redemption Center. The revenue earned helps to keep utility rates low. No other drop-off center in Mountain View does that.
Redeem "California Redemption Value" (Spanish) beverage bottles and cans for cash during buy-back hours and keep the recycling revenue working for your community. Be sure to empty bottles and remove caps and lids. The recycling center is operated by Recology on city property. Consumers may also redeem containers "in-store" at certain stores certified by CalRecycle but you may want to call first. Click Here to find a current list. As of October 2019, the only in-store redemption service has been for small amounts at Trader Joe's and the Safeway on San Antonio and El Camino Real. Another option is to use the Buy-Back Center at the SMaRT Station in Sunnyvale.
Redeeming beverage containers at the Mountain View Recycling Center keeps recycling revenues working for your community. When you redeem bottles and cans here, you receive cash for the containers and also help conserve resources and divert waste from the landfill. In turn, the City receives a small payment from the State redemption fund, and Recology receives the salvage value of the cans and bottles. These revenues are returned to the utility rate fund to help keep rates low. See below for more information about the Buy-Back Center such as Counting vs. Weighing or No Liquids, No Caps.
The following items are accepted at the Recycling Center during drop-off hours only. Please do not visit the Center or leave any items after hours. Watch out for the Dirty Dozen.
*These items are also accepted in the residential and commercial recycling programs. Refer to cart label for placement.
Appointments for residents are required to drop off these reusable or recyclable items (limits apply). Call Recology at (650) 967-3034 to make an appointment.
According to a recent study by the State of California, the amount of money paid for bottles and cans, whether by item count or total weight, is minimal.
Consumers may request payment by count if they are redeeming up to 50 California Redemption Value (CRV) bottles and cans per type (e.g. 49 CRV aluminum cans and 30 CRV bottles). If consumers are redeeming 51 or more containers per type, recyclers have the option to pay by weight. Under new laws, the State also prohibits the pay out of large volumes (100 pounds or more) of CRV containers, whether under single a single transaction or "split" into many transactions (affects bars, restaurants, and fundraising organizations). The State also prohibits customers from combining CRV and non-CRV containers for payment. The new laws are designed to protect the integrity of the California Redemption Value program by paying only for CRV containers, and reduce the potential for abuse by unlicensed commercial collectors and scavengers.
Complaints about the State's redemption program or regulations may be made directly to 1-800-RECYCLE. See FAQs.
At the recycling center, in order to fairly weigh and pay consumers for bottles and cans, all containers must be emptied of liquids and other materials before weighing. Please remove plastic bottle caps because they can trap liquids and air, which is a problem in weighing and in processing. Liquids must be removed from containers to be accepted by the State of California Redemption Value program for payment.
At home, please remove the caps to ensure there are no liquids or trapped air. Bottle caps left on containers trap air and are a danger to workers at recycling plants. During processing, bottles are baled into blocks for shipping (see picture above left). In the bale, a capped bottle will deflate through osmosis, creating a void in the bale, and the unstable bale may topple over onto workers.
Should we flatten plastic bottles? No. Mountain View has a dual-stream sorting process where papers are kept separate from bottles and other containers. The sorting equipment is designed to sort two-dimensional objects (paper) and three-dimensional objects (bottles and containers). A flattened bottle could appear as a two-dimensional object and end up in the paper stream instead of containers. Communities with single-stream recycling need their residents to flatten bottles. We do not.
Why do some curbside programs allow customers to leave plastic caps on cooking oil bottles? Because: (1) cooking oil bottles are not being redeemed for cash; (2) there are few of them compared to the rest of the load; and (3) the caps may be left on the bottle to prevent spills that soil the curbside cart and attract ants and insects.