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Nickel and Dime Business Takes a Hit

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People, there's a big hubbub in the recycling world in California. First, the Conta Costa Times reports on the statewide recycling centers--the places where you can trade in bottles and cans for change--that have shut down. The centers have closed due to budget cuts, but it's more complicated than it sounds--the paper notes the state has been pilfering funds from the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund to help pay off the budget. "The state's major recycling center operators blame the closures and service cuts on the state's continued budget-balancing raids on its bottle fund. The state has in the past several years borrowed more than $400 million from the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund, the proceeds of the nickel and dime deposits consumers pay on aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles." Susan Collins, executive director of the nonprofit Container Recycling Institute in Culver City, tells the paper: "The beverage deposit is a social contract. When the state charges a deposit on a container and says you can get it back, but they make it difficult for you to get it back, then that's not OK."

And yes, there's a lawsuit. Via Recycling Today: "California Chamber of Commerce has sued the state of California over the state’s decision to transfer around $566.7 million from the Beverage Recycling Container Fund to the General Fund and Air Pollution Control Fund." Is the money better used in the Fund and Air pollution fund? That's not clear. Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce argue that the lack of money in the recycling fund has driven up manufacturers' processing fees of the containers. Via Oregon Live
· Recycling centers crushed [Contra Costa Times]
· California Chamber of Commerce Files Suit against State over Beverage Redemption Program [Recycling Today]