And finally… one man’s trash

A Californian family that made millions by recycling cans and bottles now faces numerous felony charges which could lead to substantial prison sentences.

State prosecutors filed a felony complaint this month charging eight family members in Riverside County with defrauding the state. They allegedly imported used bottles and cans from Arizona – a total of 178 tons over eight months – and recycled them in California.

According to a statement from the office of California’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, the family’s recycling operation netted them $7.6 million. Additionally, investigators discovered “illegally imported beverage containers” estimated to be worth another $1 million.

In California, when consumers buy a plastic or aluminium bottle, they typically pay an additional 5 to 10 cents as “California Redemption Value,” or CRV. This fee can be reclaimed by returning the items to any of the state’s over 1,200 recycling centres. No such scheme exists in Arizona.

“California’s recycling program is funded by consumers, and helps protect our environment and our communities,” said Bonta. He added: “Those who try to undermine its integrity through criminal operations will be held accountable.”

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