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California Recycling Centers Close

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caflag_160x120Residents of California have paid a deposit on drink containers for two decades under the premise that they could return the empty container to be recycled and get the deposit back. Because the recycling rate never reached even 75%, the state was taking in more money than it returned. The surplus was used to subsidize recycling centers which paid customers more money for their cans and bottles than the original deposit, thus encouraging greater recycling. The remaining surplus helped fund California’s local conservation corps.

This year the state raided the surplus to the tune of $450 million in order to help balance the budget. The surplus fund is now nearly broke and is unable to pay subsidies to the companies running the recycling centers, which are now having to shut down. The conservation corps, which employs 4,000 at risk youth state wide, is facing cutbacks that will lead to 500 or more job cuts.

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Authored by: Harrison Barnes