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Calif. cracks down on illegal bottle, e-waste redemptions

By: Jeremy Carroll

September 27, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (Sept. 27, 12:30 p.m. ET) — In an effort to deter the importation of aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles into California to be redeemed, Gov. Jerry Brown signed new restrictions on the state’s bottle bill.

The bill requires those importing 25 pounds of aluminum or plastic, or 250 pounds of glass containers to report the volume to CalRecycle, the state department that oversees the bottle redemption program. Assembly Bill 1933 would also require a vehicle entering the state that contains more than 25 pounds of empty beverage container material to pass through the nearest plant quarantine inspection station and obtain proof of inspection from the department, said the bill’s sponsor Assemblyman Rich Gordon.

In 2010, CalRecycle and the state’s attorney general’s office made 31 arrests of illegal collection of $3.5 million in redemption funds over several years. Those individuals were hauling truckloads of cans and bottles from neighboring states and collecting the 5-cent redemption fee without paying the deposit on the purchase.

“California’s successful Bottle Bill Program is creating green jobs while protecting the environment by encouraging recycling,” Gordon said in a statement. “It is important that we protect these programs from individuals who are attempting to exploit them.”

Brown also signed Assembly Bill 549 which attempts to stop fraudulent claims against the state’s e-waste program, but specifically outlining that electronics purchased outside of the state can not be redeemed through the state system. In California, consumers pay an electronics fee at the time the purchase which goes toward the recycling of the device.