SACRAMENTO (AP) — California consumers are losing out on at least $308 million in nickel deposits on cans and bottles, largely because it’s increasingly difficult to find a recycling center.

That’s according to a report set for release Thursday by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.

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The report says more than 40 percent of the state’s recycling centers closed in the last five years and many grocery stores won’t take back the empties. More than 100 centers closed in Los Angeles County alone.

The report faults state regulators for not doing more. It recommends increasing the amount of deposits to encourage more recycling.

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It puts the cost to consumers even higher, saying consumers get back less than half their deposit on average.

The years-long problem also is prompting calls for reform by a state senator.

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