This information is from California Recycle.Gov. Please visit their site for more information:
California law allows you the option of being paid based on COUNT instead of weight for up to 50 empty beverage containers of each material type.
This means you can bring up to 50 aluminum, 50 glass, 50 plastic, and 50 bi-metal California Redemption Value (CRV) containers in a single visit and request to be paid by count.
Recycling centers are required to comply with this rule, found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 5, Section 2535(b), and thus pay you the full CRV redemption of 5 cents or 10 cents on each container. Just be sure that you inform the site attendant of your load content and how you would like to receive payment before you hand over your load.
Any consumer who has been denied this right by a recycling center can file a complaint via email or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.
If you’re recycling more than 50 containers of any one material type, the decision to pay by count or weight is under the authority of the recycling center operator. Please make sure that your containers are whole and free of contaminants such as dirt, excessive liquid or other foreign substances.