BottleBank

San Francisco BottleBank®
CRV Redemption

Open for business!

New Drop-off Location Opening!

April 4th, at 48 Vermont Street

See Mobile BottleBank Schedule for Details

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SAN FRANCISCO BottleBank®
CRV Redemption Mobile Bag Drop Center

BottleBank-Truck-Drop-off

Something for Everybody

Redeem CRV Containers in Your San Francisco Neighborhood

Beverage
Consumers/CRV Redeemers

Learn More about Convenient New  Recycling Opportunities in Your Local Neighborhood.

Donate or Register a
Nonprofit Organization

Learn More about Fundraising and Promotional Opportunities for Nonprofit Organizations.

Beverage
Retailer Information

Learn More about Opportunities for San Francisco Beverage Retailers to Sponsor, Promote, or Stock Blue Bags.

About the Program

Frequently Asked Questions

The BottleBank™ program is an innovative mobile recycling program in San Francisco that utilizes specially made bags with preloaded bar codes that can be tied to a consumer’s account to provide a convenient and easy way to get their redemption back. The pilot is designed to increase redemption rates of aluminum, plastic, glass, and bi-metal beverage containers that have California Redemption Value (CRV) and to return those deposits directly back to the consumers.

The pilot is a partnership between the San Francisco Conservation Corps, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Our Planet Recycling, SF CRV Grocers Alliance, CalRecycle, and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative. There were demonstrations of the project on June 10th and July 15th and more are being planned for the month of September in various locations. There will be more information about those demonstrations at the BottleBank™ website, www.sfbottlebank.org.  The goal is to launch the pilot by the end of October 2021. 

  • Consumers will place their uncrushed CRV containers into the blue recycling bags with the pre-loaded bar codes. When the bag is full, they will drop off the bag(s) at a mobile collection site, which will be a large BottleBank™ truck that is operated and staffed by the San Francisco Conservation Corps. Mobile drop off locations will be posted at the BottleBank website: www.sfbottlebank.org 
  • The bags will then be scanned and linked the consumer’s BottleBank™ account. The bags will then go through a Smart Count Artificial Intelligence (AI) sorting machine that will automatically count the number of CRV containers in the bag and calculate the amount of refund for the consumer.  
  • That amount will then be deposited electronically in the consumers account within 72 hours. The funds can be deposited in a Venmo account, a PayPal account, or a bank account. For the first year of the pilot, specially made blue bags will be handed out at the BottleBank™ locations in two-packs for free.
  • This pilot represents a real democratization of recycling as it will allow low-income individuals, senior citizens, and others who lack access to reliable transportation to be able to participate and redeem their CRV refund. It also adds greater convenience for all consumers by providing multiple rotating locations throughout San Francisco.  
  • They will be located throughout San Francisco County on a rotating basis. The locations will range from school parking lots on weekends, to community group properties, and church parking lots during off hours.  
  • It is also through partnership with other non-profit and for-profit organizations and stakeholders.  
  • The locations will be posted on the BottleBank™ website, partner websites and on various social media platforms. They will also be shared with TV and radio stations, newspapers, and websites via press releases and public service announcements. The list of mobile drop-off sites will be updated on a regular basis as new locations, times, and dates are added.

    When fully up and running, it is assumed the project will run 6 days per week.

A pack of two blue bags will be free to consumers when they sign up for a BottleBank™ CRV account. They can pick up the two bag starter packs at mobile drop-off locations and participating retailers, which can be found on SFBottleBank.org. Participating retailers will also sell an eight BottleBank™ blue bag-pack at start of SF CRV Pilot.

Consumers will be able to call a toll-free hotline or visit the BottleBank™ website with questions. Currently the customer service hotline will be available in English and Spanish. Efforts are being made to expand that to include Chinese and Tagalog. 

You can get cash for your account balance without having a bank account or other electronic means by going to Our Planet Recycling, 445 Bayshore Blvd, cross street Cortland, and logging in to the BottleBank kiosk there. Once logged you can print a voucher for the amount of funds you wish to withdraw, take the voucher to the “Paymaster” window and you will be given cash. The OPR office is open Monday -Saturday from 8:30AM-4:30PM. BottleBank is actively seeking additional locations across the City to host BottleBank kiosks for payments. Stay tuned for updates.

This pilot is based off a similar program in Oregon, which has had a bottle bill place since 1971. Representatives from the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) said the redemption rates in Oregon are approaching 90% for containers that have a refund value and that each year, up to 1.8 billion beverage containers are recycled. They estimated that the potential in California is up to 18 billion beverage containers for the year. The goal in San Francisco is to see redemption rates go from approximately 58% to increase over time to the state target goal of 80%.

Step 1. Use the BottleBank mobile app to transfer your BottleBank funds electronically into your personal PayPal, Venmo, or ACH account.

 

Step 2. Select the nonprofit organization of your choice, and donate funds from your personal PayPal, Venmo, or ACH  account through the methods listed on the nonprofit’s website.

 

Note:  This method allows for maximum freedom for BottleBank account holders to select any non-profit they might choose to support, and assures that the donation comes from the account holder rather than appearing to be a direct donation from BottleBank.

Customer Service
8am-6pm Pacific Time

Call (833) 732-6885,  (833-SFBOTTL)

Note: Call this number if you have account activation or login issues.

Watch the BottleBank® Video

Schedule, Locations, Hours, Directions

Use your smart phone app or this website to find the nearest BottleBank™ Mobile Drop-off location and schedule for your community. The BottleBank™ mobile truck will have a regular route throughout the city. 

BottleBank® Blue Bags can be obtained at any BottleBank®Blue Bag Retailer location.

Open Now!  Additional locations opening in March.

BottleBank Mobile Drop-off LocationBottleBank® Mobile Drop-off Locations

Location Coming Soon!New drop-off sites opening in March and April!

BottleBank® Blue Bag RetailersBottleBank Bag Retailer

8-packs of Blue Bags now available at Rainbow Grocery, Andronico’s, Safeway, and Trader Joe’s.

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Account Information

Please call (833) 732-6885,  (833-SFBOTTL) if you experience account activation or login issues.

Login to View Account History

You can get cash for your account balance without having a bank account or other electronic means by going to Our Planet Recycling, 445 Bayshore Blvd, cross street Cortland, and logging in to the BottleBank kiosk there. Once logged you can print a voucher for the amount of funds you wish to withdraw, take the voucher to the “Paymaster” window and you will be given cash. The OPR office is open Monday -Saturday from 8:30AM-4:30PM. BottleBank is actively seeking additional locations across the City to host BottleBank kiosks for payments. Stay tuned for updates.

or Create an Account

Use this form to open a BottleBank® account and get online access. No deposit required.




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Recycling Data

CalRecycle-logo
Just the Facts!

  • In California, about 24.5 billion California Refund Value (CRV) eligible containers were sold in 2018.
  • Of those, more than 18.5 billion were recycled!
  • Since 6 billion bottles and cans ended up in the landfill, nobody claimed the CRV on them. How much CRV? More than $100 million worth!
  • CRV is 5¢ for bottles and cans less than 24 ounces, and 10¢ for larger ones.
  • CRV refunds are available to anyone–consumers, companies, or nonprofits–who returns bottles and cans to a recycling center.
  • By eliminating the need to manufacture new products from raw materials, recycling reduces energy use, in turn reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the air.
  • For every 10 pounds of aluminum you recycle, you eliminate 37 pounds of carbon emissions from the air.
  • For every 10 pounds of clear plastic water or soda bottles, 3.3 pounds of carbon emissions disappear.
  • And although glass bottles are a lot heavier, each 10 pounds recycled still reduces carbon by nearly a pound.
  • In a landfill, aluminum cans take 80-100 years to break down.
  • Plastic bottles hang around as long as 700 years.
  • Glass bottles spend 1 million years waiting around to decompose.

Service

Customer Service
8am-6pm Pacific Time

Call (833) 732-6885,  (833-SFBOTTL)
Note: Call this number if you have account activation or login issues.

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