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Over 20 Percent Of California's Recycling Centers Shut Down

KCBS_740 SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) -- More than a fifth of California's recycling redemption centers have closed in the last year, stripping consumers of easy access to recycling and limiting their ability to collect the deposits they made when purchasing bottles and cans.

More than 450 centers have closed in the last year and more are expected to close in the coming months. That's caused beverage container recycling rates to fall a percentage point lower in the second half of 2015 compared to a year earlier.

Recycling advocates say the closures stem from an outdated system that the state uses to calculate payments to recycling centers. They say it's too slow to cover the real costs of recycling.

"People would probably be inclined to throw them away because it takes extra effort and gas and extra resources to go somewhere else and recycle," Anthony Zach said as he recycled bottles in the South Bay.

According to a report by the non-profit Container Recycling Institute, recycling centers across the state are hemorrhaging money - collectively losing more than $20 million in 2015.

More than 400 have gone out of business altogether.

The problem is that the money the state pays recycling centers often isn't enough for them to make a profit.

A quick-fix measure is pending in the state Senate.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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