If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(LA Times)   California: We'll give you a nickel deposit for every can you return for recycling. Nevada and Arizona: Hey, look, California's giving out free nickels   (latimes.com) divider line 43
    More: Asinine, California, recycling  
•       •       •

20398 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Oct 2012 at 6:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
pla
2012-10-07 06:37:30 PM  
4 votes:
FTA: "Just over 8.5 billion recyclable cans were sold in California last year. The number redeemed for a nickel under California's recycling law: 8.3 billion."

Waitasec here - Now, I realize they want to encourage recycling in California. But they get a farking nickle for every one of those cans. So the problem here has nothing to do with "fraud", so much as "we hoped, like every scammy rebate offer ever, to actually make money off morons not getting their money back".

Can you hear the violins?



/ Yes, the next paragraph talks about a 104% rate on plastic, admittedly a problem, but up to 100%, you don't get to biatch, revenue-whores. Recycling affects the whole world, not just your corner of it.
2012-10-07 06:59:31 PM  
3 votes:

Aussie_As: Salmon: It's a dime here in Canada but please take our Nickleback.

Salmon, that's farking brilliant.

But seriously, as a resident in the Australian state with a great and effective recycling program (which is still largely rejected by other Australian states despite its popularity among my local population), surely California is a significantly major economy that it could insist on labelling laws which states 'this product was sold in California and its container is good for recycling in California or a state with equivalent laws' and that would be the end of the story. I'm pretty sure the state of Califonia's population is roughly the same as that of my entire continent.


Have just actually bothered to research this and it turns out California's population is WAY bigger than Australia's. There's no excuse for administrative failures with this scheme.
2012-10-07 06:52:44 PM  
3 votes:
This doesn't really seem like a problem, if your goal is to encourage recycling. The redemption rate is right around 100%, which means the program is self-funding, other than a subsidy to actually run the recycling centers. Fraud is bad, and reasonable measures to stop it are probably a good idea, but it's not like the program is bleeding money.

What they're actually mad about is the fact that they budgeted the program as revenue stream, not a recycling incentive, under the assumption that not everyone would bother to redeem their bottles. Somehow I have trouble feeling bad that their program is only meeting its stated goal and isn't working as a hidden tax.
2012-10-07 06:45:45 PM  
3 votes:
To solve the problem of out of state people inflating numbers, just adjust the payout on cans to reflect market value. If people still want to drive across the boarder and get money, yay for entrepreneurship. To solve the problem of actual fraud (inflating numbers or re-selling the same load), get some investigators in the statehouse. Ta-da. If you want to be eco-friendly, just say that any income gained by recycling cans and bottles isn't subject to state taxation.

The only real issue I can see in the article is California is paying more than market value for aluminum.
2012-10-07 06:18:56 PM  
3 votes:
Pfft. Bring 'em to Michigan.


images.mentalfloss.com
2012-10-07 05:11:16 PM  
3 votes:
This maybe having an impact, but it is a drop in the bucket of things that are "draining California cash"
2012-10-07 07:13:44 PM  
2 votes:
I'm from a bit south of the NY/PA border and one of my high school friends had a typical college party house after we graduated. He'd save up all of the empties throughout the year that were purchased in PA and drive over the border to collect the deposit. I made the mistake of joining him on one of those trips and learned what 9 months worth of beer cans smell like if you don't rinse them.
2012-10-07 07:01:16 PM  
2 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: Pfft. Bring 'em to Michigan.


[images.mentalfloss.com image 500x368]


This. Have a snowbird in the family. They would literally keep huge trash bags of crushed cans they accumulated while at their winter home, and bring them back to Michigan to cash in. Used to cover the cost of gas of the trip before gas prices went insane.
2012-10-07 06:56:32 PM  
2 votes:
The aluminum might be worth a nickel, and it saves in road cleanup costs. Oregon has been doing this for decades.
2012-10-07 06:47:17 PM  
2 votes:
Good. The government's been scamming the people for over 100 years. Scam it back if you can.
2012-10-07 06:45:31 PM  
2 votes:
When I was a kid in Michigan I would bring my wagon to the park and collect bottles/cans on Sunday nights. 10 to 15$ a week is pretty good for an 8yr old. When I first moved to NC it was shocking to see people just throw out bottles. All I could think about was how much they'd be worth if the bottles were returned.

/never got an allowance, worked for ever dime I got.
2012-10-07 06:44:37 PM  
2 votes:

Lattices aren't Distributive: meanmutton: APE992: Aluminum isn't ending up in landfills, that is all I care about.

It's funny that you think a landfill is a black hole, out of which nothing will ever come.

Give it 20 or so years and the cities will be making money off of companies mining landfills for metal, plastic, and rare earth elements.

That sounds like a shiatty job. (and I mean that literally - think about all the disposable diapers they'll be sorting through. Sure, metal detectors will help, but if you're looking for plastics?)


Garbage incinerators for power production are getting pretty good. Your best bet would be to sort the metal out and burn the rest.

The funny part is that you won't be able to get to a lot of the landfill resources because they have been reclaimed as parks and golf courses.
2012-10-07 06:43:19 PM  
2 votes:
What's the problem?

Wasn't the goal to encourage recycling to save the environment? Isn't that what's happening?
2012-10-07 06:43:03 PM  
2 votes:
I lived in Michigan in 1979 and they had a law like this. They were smart enough that they also passed a law requiring that all cans sold in Michigan had that fact prominently displayed on the can. Poor California, maybe you should smarten up. Then again, you DID elect ARNOLD to be your governator.
2012-10-07 06:36:33 PM  
2 votes:

APE992: Aluminum isn't ending up in landfills, that is all I care about.


It's funny that you think a landfill is a black hole, out of which nothing will ever come.

Give it 20 or so years and the cities will be making money off of companies mining landfills for metal, plastic, and rare earth elements.
2012-10-07 06:33:21 PM  
2 votes:

fusillade762: Bathia_Mapes: Meh. Oregon passed the Bottle Bill in 1971. Most stores have bottle return centers nowadays and you must redeem the deposit chit the machine dispenses the same day and at the same store.

Yeah, I was thinking "Good luck processing a semi trailer full of cans and bottles with one of these"

[insidescoopsf.sfgate.com image 600x448]

But I'm guessing CA doesn't make you do it yourself.


Actually those are the best places to go, as you get 100% of your deposit. Problem is they're broken or permanently camped by homeless. The recycling centers weigh the bag and give you based on weight, which isn't accurate for obvious reasons, plus they take a cut.
2012-10-07 06:09:38 PM  
2 votes:
State officials say recycling centers in California are required to take reasonable precautions: They are not allowed, for instance, to buy more than 500 pounds of aluminum or 2,500 pounds of glass from any one person in any given day

Seems like you could cut the fraud back significantly by simply reducing that to 50 lbs/day. Even Drew doesn't generate 50 lbs of empty Heineken cans in a week.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-07 05:29:14 PM  
2 votes:
One part of the alleged scheme, he said, was pretending that cans it had picked up from commercial and residential customers had actually been turned in to its recycling center; the state often provides bigger reimbursements when materials are acquired that way.

Here we have scavengers picking through municipal recycling bins to find redeemable cans and bottles. Technically that might be theft; it is in some jurisdictions. The effort of returning cans is worth more than 5 cents to anybody with a good job, so they go into the trash.
2012-10-07 04:53:13 PM  
2 votes:
xeround.com
2012-10-08 12:44:06 AM  
1 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: Pfft. Bring 'em to Michigan.


[images.mentalfloss.com image 500x368]


I used to do that!

// ohio!
2012-10-07 10:14:14 PM  
1 votes:

proteus_b: not to mention the costs of the recycling fraud unit...


In the Environmental Justice System, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious misdemeanors are members of an elite squad known as the Recycling Fraud Unit. These are their stories.
*DONK DONK*
2012-10-07 07:32:36 PM  
1 votes:
Deposits used to be built in the prices of soda sold in glass bottles. It wasn't a law here but it was always that way for as long I could remember. It was only when 'no deposit/return' bottles where introduced some states started making laws about bottle returns.

You'd take the empties back to the supermarket and they'd give a few cents for the bottle (I think it was 25 cent for case)..The distributor would pick them up and return to the bottling plant where they where cleaned, refilled and capped. It wasn't a law it just something you did..like saving you empty glass milk bottles for pickup.
2012-10-07 07:25:15 PM  
1 votes:

fusillade762: Bathia_Mapes: Meh. Oregon passed the Bottle Bill in 1971. Most stores have bottle return centers nowadays and you must redeem the deposit chit the machine dispenses the same day and at the same store.

Yeah, I was thinking "Good luck processing a semi trailer full of cans and bottles with one of these"

[insidescoopsf.sfgate.com image 600x448]

But I'm guessing CA doesn't make you do it yourself.


And there's also a limit to how many cans/bottles you can redeem too.

From the Oregon Bottle Bill pdf:

How many containers can I redeem each day?

Retailers of 5,000 square feet or more can limit the amount of containers a consumer can redeem
to a maximum of 144 containers per person per day.
Retailers under 5,000 square feet can limit the number of containers to a maximum of 50 per
person per day.
2012-10-07 07:10:41 PM  
1 votes:
My very first job was in the bottle room of Fred Meyer (@1987 or so). Customers would bring in carts full of black garbage bags. We had to count them and then sort them by company. The worst were always the folks just back from a camping trip. The containers would be covered with dirt and crawling with earwigs (for beer) or ants (for soda). I'd come home from work and clean my arms with a cotton pad and Sea Breeze (do they even make that anymore?). It would take two or three passes on each arm before the pads weren't COMPLETELY black from grime.

/csb
2012-10-07 07:01:31 PM  
1 votes:
Does anyone know...

On many carbonated beverage containers, the can/bottle will list the states where the 5-cent deposit is available. They often have some states whose abbreviation will be larger than the others.

For example, it might say IA-MA-ME-OR-VT-NY-CT 5¢.

Why are Iowa, Mass, New York, and Conn listed larger than the others? (this isn't the only case...sometimes different states are listed larger...it is just the can I have in front of me now)
2012-10-07 07:01:17 PM  
1 votes:

dameron: When I was 12 there was an unattended recycling machine in the local supermarket's parking lot. It was huge, a 10 by 20 cage that looked like it would get loaded onto a flatbed truck. You fed the empties through a hole in a machine at the front. It weighed them, kicked the empties into the bin and then spat out change.

So it took me about two visits of turning in an afternoon's collection of aluminum to realize that the labor/reward ratios was way too low. That's when I started filling the cans with water and leaving them out to freeze over night before feeding them to the machine. That produced a much higher rate of return and except for the coldest parts of winter all the evidence would melt during the day. I made sure I never did it often enough to raise suspicions, maybe once or twice a month and I never told anyone about the scam or else every kid in the neighborhood would have tried to cash in and ruin it.

And that is the entirety of my criminal enterprises.

/CSB, I know.


CSB, yes, except those machines around my neck of the woods actually crushed or shredded the cans, and thin aluminum is much easier to crush/shred than solid ice, so the machine would likely jam.

Thinking about it, it would probably be better shred the cans if the processing at the recycling was automated, since enterprising thieves might otherwise break into the storage bin and feed the crushed cans back through. Shredded can would make it to hazardous to attempt.
2012-10-07 07:01:05 PM  
1 votes:
Did anyone else hear the voice of Slim Pickens say in their head; " We're gonna need a shiat load of nickles."?
2012-10-07 07:00:41 PM  
1 votes:
Not surprised something like this happens. too much chance for easy money if you live near the border of a state in which you can get a fixed amount of money for item item you recycle with seeming no fool proof way to ensure it was sold with in the state.
2012-10-07 06:59:19 PM  
1 votes:
anything to make a buck.
2012-10-07 06:56:09 PM  
1 votes:
profplump: This doesn't really seem like a problem, if your goal is to encourage recycling. The redemption rate is right around 100%, which means the program is self-funding, other than a subsidy to actually run the recycling centers. Fraud is bad, and reasonable measures to stop it are probably a good idea, but it's not like the program is bleeding money.

What they're actually mad about is the fact that they budgeted the program as revenue stream, not a recycling incentive, under the assumption that not everyone would bother to redeem their bottles. Somehow I have trouble feeling bad that their program is only meeting its stated goal and isn't working as a hidden tax.


(In best scruffy the janitor voice) Second
2012-10-07 06:55:39 PM  
1 votes:

Salmon: It's a dime here in Canada but please take our Nickleback.


Salmon, that's farking brilliant.

But seriously, as a resident in the Australian state with a great and effective recycling program (which is still largely rejected by other Australian states despite its popularity among my local population), surely California is a significantly major economy that it could insist on labelling laws which states 'this product was sold in California and its container is good for recycling in California or a state with equivalent laws' and that would be the end of the story. I'm pretty sure the state of Califonia's population is roughly the same as that of my entire continent.
2012-10-07 06:51:49 PM  
1 votes:
When I was 12 there was an unattended recycling machine in the local supermarket's parking lot. It was huge, a 10 by 20 cage that looked like it would get loaded onto a flatbed truck. You fed the empties through a hole in a machine at the front. It weighed them, kicked the empties into the bin and then spat out change.

So it took me about two visits of turning in an afternoon's collection of aluminum to realize that the labor/reward ratios was way too low. That's when I started filling the cans with water and leaving them out to freeze over night before feeding them to the machine. That produced a much higher rate of return and except for the coldest parts of winter all the evidence would melt during the day. I made sure I never did it often enough to raise suspicions, maybe once or twice a month and I never told anyone about the scam or else every kid in the neighborhood would have tried to cash in and ruin it.

And that is the entirety of my criminal enterprises.

/CSB, I know.
2012-10-07 06:48:04 PM  
1 votes:
It's a dime here in Canada but please take our Nickleback.
2012-10-07 06:40:45 PM  
1 votes:

meanmutton: APE992: Aluminum isn't ending up in landfills, that is all I care about.

It's funny that you think a landfill is a black hole, out of which nothing will ever come.

Give it 20 or so years and the cities will be making money off of companies mining landfills for metal, plastic, and rare earth elements.


That sounds like a shiatty job. (and I mean that literally - think about all the disposable diapers they'll be sorting through. Sure, metal detectors will help, but if you're looking for plastics?)
2012-10-07 06:33:51 PM  
1 votes:
Nebraska has no deposit on cans/bottles. Iowa does. The cans you buy in NE don't have the deposit label on them either.

When I used to buy my soda at the base, it always has a label with the deposit info on it. You could buy (save) cans from the base in Nebraska and return them to Iowa and earn money, not a lot, but money.

Further more, they had machines that simply counted cans that were inserted. It didn't care whether or not there was any info about deposits on the cans themselves.

It seems like a system designed to fail.
2012-10-07 06:32:07 PM  
1 votes:
lh5.ggpht.com
California or bust.
2012-10-07 06:30:43 PM  
1 votes:
Wasn't there a story a few months ago about how this fund had about a $12M surplus from deposits that were collected but never redeemed through the recycling program?
2012-10-07 06:28:28 PM  
1 votes:
If recycling means they give me nickleback then me might as well throw can away.
2012-10-07 06:25:30 PM  
1 votes:
I think the real problem is that California is only pocketing $1mil from the previous transactions and feels they'd be getting more if out of state cans weren't brought in.

Aluminum isn't ending up in landfills, that is all I care about. Somehow it is OK for Mitt Romney to find loopholes to make money on taxes but not cool for someone across the border in Nevada.
2012-10-07 06:21:56 PM  
1 votes:
I used to play that scam when I lived in Michigan many years ago. Back then, it was a dime per can or bottle. I'd gather them up when I visited family in Chicago, and net a few buck bringing them back home. But then the grocery store went to automatic machines, and would reject containers with the wrong bar code, or brands they didn't sell.

The state of Michigan still made millions off unclaimed deposits, but I couldn't return Old Style cans in Ann Arbor.
2012-10-07 06:21:43 PM  
1 votes:

Bathia_Mapes: Meh. Oregon passed the Bottle Bill in 1971. Most stores have bottle return centers nowadays and you must redeem the deposit chit the machine dispenses the same day and at the same store.


Yeah, I was thinking "Good luck processing a semi trailer full of cans and bottles with one of these"

insidescoopsf.sfgate.com

But I'm guessing CA doesn't make you do it yourself.
2012-10-07 05:52:39 PM  
1 votes:
Ultimately, the owner of Ace Recycling, Michael Barshak, and several others pleaded guilty to grand theft and unlawful recycling.

What is this I don't even.
2012-10-07 03:39:32 PM  
1 votes:
Meh. Oregon passed the Bottle Bill in 1971. Most stores have bottle return centers nowadays and you must redeem the deposit chit the machine dispenses the same day and at the same store.
 
Displayed 43 of 43 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report