recycling

CALIFORNIA — There used to be a time when a solid glass Coca-Cola bottle, if returned, would put a dime in a man’s pocket. And while reusing glass bottles was much more sanitary and helpful for the environment, the bottling industry offered plastics to the world in place of glass. Recycling, however, continued with used plastics being able to be transformed into a myriad of useful things. But for the subjects in our next story, apparently, the temptation to make a quick buck by recycling plastics, has gotten them in trouble with the police state, who is apparently picky about from where their recycled materials originate.

Balmore Alvarado (49) and Anthony Sanchez (56) were arrested in a week-long sting operation centered on nabbing out of state recyclers who were transporting their recyclables into California to cash in on CA’s lucrative reimbursement program known as the California Value Redemption Fund.

According to a press release from CalRecycle, “The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery joined the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to conduct the five-day operation from March 13 to 17,” in Blythe, California on the Arizona-California state line.

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After learning the men’s paperwork was improper, police had them arrested and their loads confiscated. “Both drivers face charges of felony recycling fraud, attempted grand theft, filing a false or forged document, and conspiracy. If convicted, the men could be subject to financial penalties and incarceration. The charges carry a sentence of between six months and three years,” the statement reads.

At issue is how the CVR is collected and then returned to the citizen who recycles their used beverage containers. CalRecycle explained how it works…”California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act incentivizes recycling through a California Redemption Value (CRV) fee paid by California consumers at the time of purchase and refunded upon return of the empty beverage containers to CalRecycle-certified recycling centers. Because the fee is not paid on beverages purchased outside the state, those containers are not eligible for CRV redemption,” the statement reads.

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Calling Alvarado and Sanchez members of a “criminal enterprise,” the government agency stated those who live outside of the state often attempt to illegally bring into California non-California recyclables to collect the lucrative fees paid out for used plastics. Authorities said Alvarado’s tractor trailer full of plastics was worth an estimated $11,000 and Sanchez’ load approached $10,000. Both men have been charged with felonies for “attempting to defraud” the CRV fund which rightfully belongs to Californians.

So, let’s get this straight California. You collect a CVR fee of “5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater” from bottles sold and purchased in your state. But everyone knows California is a state which has a thriving tourism industry, so it’s more than safe to assume not every bottle purchased in California is from residents of your state.

So, you collect a “tax” in essence even though on your website you prefer to call it a “regulatory fee.” Okay. We’ll go with that. You’re so awash with cash that you pay yourself “46 million” in administration fees. Seems lucrative for everyone who works on the board or in the admin offices. You give away, by our estimate, 17.5 million in grants and educational programs, but you gloat over nabbing two interstate semi-truck drivers attempting to cash in on the program’s payouts for keeping our nation’s streams, and lands clean.

As we’ve already stated, we know a great number of bottle drinkers are from out of state, yet when a few of those guys come back into the state to reclaim their CVR fee, you arrest them, make an example of them, and treat them as some kind of serious felons. You should really be ashamed of yourselves. You created a massive bureaucratic recycling program which is more of a tax on the working class California citizen that the rich who can afford it. And then you criminalize anyone who attempts to clean up the environment. What you’re really worried about, and what keeps you up at night, is if EVERY Californian kept all their recyclables and brought them all back to you at the same time and wanted their money back, you wouldn’t be able to continue paying yourselves the 46 million in administrator salaries.

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You created a massive bureaucratic recycling program which is more of a tax on the working class California citizen than the rich who can afford it. And then you criminalize anyone who attempts to clean up the environment. What you’re really worried about, and what keeps you up at night, is if EVERY Californian kept all their recyclables and brought them all back to you at the same time and wanted their money back, you wouldn’t be able to continue paying yourselves the 46 million in administrator salaries.

 

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Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine
  • Zackknowitall

    If these women were smart enough not to talk to the cops instead lawyered up they will walk. These bottles and cans have UPC which are universals and the same on the product anywhere on the planet.

  • raz-0

    They weren’t arrested for recycling, they were arrested fro deposit bottle fraud. Which they appear to have actually been engaged in. Don’t try to reclaim taxes you didn’t pay. Preferably stop taxing stupid shit, but trying to defraud the stupid system isn’t the answer.

    • Bruce_Mitchell

      What rot to say “Don’t try to reclaim taxes you didn’t pay.” Thus ignoring the benefit of recycling programs that prevent immense quantities of plastic trash from going to landfills.

      By your logic, every homeless person who earns a few meager bucks by picking up bottles for recycling is a criminal, when in fact they are helping to clean up our neighborhoods.

      • raz-0

        Uhh no. They take them to a cangaroo (are those even around anymore?), dream machine, or other similar device that pays you for recycling you bottles and cans, they have no issues. Nobody has committed a crime. They simply pick something up and recycle it for free, they have no issues. They pick something up in California or other state with a deposit, and collect the deposit on it, they have no legal issues.

        They deliberately collect truckloads of non deposit bottles from non deposit markets to cash in on a deposit that was never paid, and that’s fraud if attempted, and theft if successful. What happened has nothing to do with people being punished for the simple act of recycling.

        You are not a smart person and quite probably did not read the actual article, and using the phrase “what rot” are quite possibly ignorantly commenting on a subject you have no knowledge of.

        • Bruce_Mitchell

          And you’ve just made a series of absurd assumptions that you could not possibly know, which is the very definition of ignorance.

      • Anonymous

        Every homeless person who earns a few meager bucks by picking up bottles for recycling IS a criminal…IF they are bringing them into California from out of state. Are they doing that? No? If they are picking up bottles that are already IN California, then there is no crime.

        • Bruce_Mitchell

          A crime with no victim in the overriding goal of desperately needed removal of trash for recycling.

          • Anonymous

            If you are in California, and you pick up a bottle and turn it in for CRV, you are NOT a criminal. If you pick it up in Nevada and bring it into California to turn in for CRV, you ARE a criminal.

  • Heretic Jones

    They were attempting to steal from others – this is against the rules and intolerable in any society. The mechanism by which this robbery was made possible is the government. The consequences of universal intervention by the state into the lives of people, both intended and unintended, are always and forever the same – quality of life is diminished. Name a government program and I’ll show you destroyed lives.

    • Bruce_Mitchell

      You mean government programs like Social Security? Lots of “destroyed lives” there, eh?

      • Heretic Jones

        Exactly. People receiving social security are receiving about 75 cents or less for every dollar they put in. These dollars were forcibly taken under threat of violence, when voluntary investments would bring a greater return. For me, I won’t see the money I am forced to put into the system – this is the definition of a Ponzi scheme. Moreover, as a business owner, I’m forced to pay an increasing proportion of my employees’ social security which hurts my business. These rates have historically continued to rise, which is what we should expect in the future. Why should I have to pay any of this, especially given that the government will just keep stealing it? The social security system was never intended to provide workers that which they put in – this is evidenced by the fact that the age at which a person became eligible to receive payment exceeded the avarege lifespan at that time. And more, given that the federal reserve is constantly devaluing the dollar throu inflationary practices, many of today’s elders can’t make ends meet off their payoffs – I see this firsthand in my family. So, yes, thank you for the opportunity to make my point again. I’m sure you’re defending this Ponzi scheme because you’re somehow benefitting from it. If you’d like, name another program…social security was way too easy…