Recycling fraud drains California’s cash (SAM SPITAL)

“Yesterday’s article in the Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2012, described the conundrum facing California in the recycling of cans and bottles in which the State is paying out more money for these recycled items than it is collecting in revenue from the deposits paid by individuals purchasing drinks.

It is claimed that fraud rings are bringing into California in semi-trailer trucks between $40 million and $200 million per year in recycled containers from adjacent states that do not offer the redemption program.Because only purchases made in California are eligible for the program, the California Department of Justice has brought over 10 criminal cases against these fraud rings in the previous 12 months.

I believe we should determine the real value of the scrap metal, aluminum and glass. Since the centers that accept these items are profit making businesses, their reimbursement of five to ten cents per container to the consumer (or others) is far less than the money they make from salvaging the material.

Perhaps the State needs to re-negotiate its contracts with these centers to offset the loss of revenue.

This is just another example of how inefficient our government is in the operation of its business affairs. Certainly filing criminal charges against people who are collecting containers so that they can be salvaged seems a waste of energy and law enforcement resources when the entire concept of recycling has a valid social purpose.”