CVS Refuses To Refund Bottle Deposits to Consumers Triggering Massive Fine
As we have seen, the collapse of California’s Recycling program has caused problems and huge losses in many sectors. The closing of Recycling giant RePlanet and many other recycling centers like the huge Santa Monica Recycling Center was the end result of gross mismanagement by various City and State Bureaucrats. The head of CalRecycle is said to be resigning at the end of the year. Meanwhile, consumers struggle to find places to redeem their bottles and cans. Stores and chains that refuse to pay back the deposits/or send a $100 per day extortion fee to the State are being fined, like the recent CVS $3.6 million.
How did we get to this point? Certainly the Federal Government bears some responsibility. The China trade war resulted in China stopping and/or slowing its massive buying of recycled products from the U.S. “We don’t want your trash” they said. Part of that problem would be the big exporters dumping too much contaminants into the loads. Part is retaliation for U.S. trade sanctions. A big slow-down of China purchases of scrap caused the prices to fall, putting pressure on our recycling industry. The big losers in all this are not just RePlanet type shops, but the cunsumers have been really screwed.
The State of California, meanwhile, continues to rake in the bucks. They make money either way. Now that hundreds of recycling centers have closed, payouts for redeeming bottles and cans go down, but income from charging consumers 5 and 10 cents per container continues to pour in to State coffers by the millions. A bigger profit for the greedy State. Plus they now can collect millions more by fining the stores for not complying with the rules. The chains and convenience stores did not see this coming, and they didn’t want to have to take back cans and bottles, it’s at times a logistical nightmare for them.
Plus, the State makes even more money by telling consumers to dump their recycled cans and bottles into the “Blue Bins” run by the cities, more money for their partners in this scam, the local cities. This big mess calls the whole program into question. Why should the State be involved at all? Why not let consumers not pay ANY deposit, and just run campaigns to push them to recycle at scrap yards for market prices? The retailers, stores and chains would be very happy with this. The consumers would be happy not to pay the deposit. The thieves who smuggle in millions of bottles to California scrap yards from other states would be out of business. More scrap yards will open up to process the bottles and cans. Low income and homeless could once again make a few bucks and get some exercise hunting for scrap.
California should shut down this program. They can do better by just being cheerleaders for recycling and helping and encouraging the recycling industry to make advancements. The bottle deposit scam should end now.