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CalRecycle: Smugglers Still Bringing Tons of Bottles And Cans Into California


For the third time this year, officers at agricultural checkpoints have found trucks with tons of out-of-state cans and bottles bound for California recycling centers. 

In the three stops, officers at the state line have discovered 14 tons of smuggled aluminum and plastic.

In California, you must pay an additional five or ten cents per container into the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund.  

Three weeks ago, nearly five tons of recyclables worth $15,000 were discovered in a truck at an agricultural checkpoint in Blythe.

Lance Klug with CalRecycle says the driver had picked up a load of empty cans and bottles in Arizona.  

"CalRecycle's been continuing to try to increase enforcement because the most blatant way to try to scam the fund is either to commit fraud at the recycling centers in California and fudge books and whatnot or they'll load up on beverage containers from out of state," says Klug.

High return rates of containers, high redemption values and fraud have contributed to a yearly deficit of more than $50 million for CalRecycle.

CalRecycle has been working with the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Agriculture in an attempt to slow the tide of out-of-state, non-CRV cans and bottles from entering the state.


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio