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CalRecycle moves to stop UBC fraud

Keywords: Tags  CalRecycle, aluminum, used beverage cans, UBCs, California Redemption Value, CRV, Carroll Mortenson, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — California plans to tackle used beverage container (UBC) fraud by setting a daily cap on the amount of recyclables an individual can redeem.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, a person can redeem 100 pounds of aluminum per day vs. the current threshold of 500 pounds.

The change is being implemented by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to stop an epidemic of out-of-state residents from selling into the state due to its favorable prices.

West Coast recyclers have urged the state to make changes to stop the fraudulent sales (, Nov. 20).

“Aluminum and plastic, due to their relatively light weight, are the most common materials found in truckloads brought across California’s borders for illegal redemption,” CalRecycle said. “As a result, importers of out-of-state containers, which are not eligible for CRV (California Redemption Value) refunds, and scavenger fleets illegally removing the contents of residential curbside recycling bins will find it considerably more time consuming and risky to reap any ill-gotten gains.”

The change will impact less than 1 percent of sellers as state research suggests that nearly all transactions are for less than 80 pounds of aluminum and the average sale is 8.7 pounds.

“With these much lower daily load limits, we hope wrongdoers will make a New Year’s resolution that it’s just not worth it to continue their illegal activities,” CalRecycle director Caroll Mortensen said. “They’ll have to take a lot more trips to recycling centers, which only increases the chances CalRecycle or our partners in law enforcement will catch them.”

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