Plastic Pollution
January 13 2010

CA Recylers Ripped Off by State

by scott harrison

How can I report this in a positive tone? Let’s start with a description of California’s recycling program: every “recyclable” bottle and can is sold with a minimum five cent CRV (Calif Redemption Value) charge. That five cents goes into a fund intended, essentially, to repay those that return their used containers – easy enough to understand, yes?

Interestingly, a lot of Californians just never seek the CRV refunds, instead opting to throw the items away or “curbside” recycle them via local municipal pick-up. Bottom line, the program takes in muuuuch more $$$ than it doles out. [I like what you are thinking, “Use that $$$ to enhance the program!!!” – but stop a minute and try to think like a half-wit, thievin’, greaseball politician… smile OK, now read on.]

The state, now broke after a drunken-sailor spending spree decade, smells the sweet aroma of idle $$$ piling up and pretty-much steals from this fund to pay for costs of unrelated state activities that they apparently thought would somehow pay for themselves…ugh! Subsequently, our recycling programs are suffering, recycling centers are closing and the recycling effort’s future is atrophying.

Lots of lame-o excuses and half-baked, odd-ball ideas from the govvies on how to “save” this program are put forth in the article – none of which fully entail them putting the recycling $$$ back into the recycling program [sorry, that’s too simple]. As comedian Chris Rock may quip, “I guess it’s how they wuz rrraaAAaaiiised!”

OK, “positive tone” item: additional CRV fees are proposed to help cover the higher costs of recycling some fringe plastics – let’s hope the politicians don’t sneak this $$$ away for their retirement funds, gerrymandering costs or “new bridges to nowhere”.

Final smart-alec remark: Don’t Steal, the Government Hates Competition!