rePlanet, California’s largest recycler, closed 191 recycling centers and laid off almost 300 people. This leaves many smaller communities without a place to take their cans and bottles.
rePlanet blames a decline in the commodity prices of aluminum and plastic along with increased costs for health insurance and a higher minimum wage.
According to Mark Oldfield with the California Department of Recycling and Recovery, much of the problem comes from the falling price in oil markets.
"With this tremendous reduction in the price of oil, it's made virgin plastic, which is made out of petroleum product much more competitive with recycled plastic, and that's caused the decline in the market value of recycled plastic," Oldfield says.
Oldfield also says there will be an inconvenience in smaller communities like Calaveras and Nevada Counties where rePlanet has closed operations.
rePlanet continues to operate 350 recycling centers which employ 800 people in California.