By Ben Messenger. Managing Editor Waste Management World
The department’s investigation began following a tip from the California Highway Patrol that large quantities of empty beverage containers were being transported from the Reno area to recycling centres in the Susanville area, including Bullseye Recycling, owned by Thomas Allen Glenn III and Shannah Lee Glenn.
Investigators conducted surveillance on Bullseye Recycling and two other local recyclers. CalRecycle said that its auditors followed up with a review of Bullseye Recycling’s business records and receipts. The investigators are said to have found that, on numerous occasions, Bullseye purchased more than 500 pounds (227 kg) of plastic containers from a single seller in a day, and more than 500 pounds of aluminium cans from a single seller in a day.
At the time, 500 pounds was the daily load limit for both plastic and aluminum, but those limits have since been reduced.
According to CalRecycle, on several occasions, Bullseye allowed the sellers to split the loads into multiple transactions to bring each sale below the 500 pound limit. Splitting loads in this manner is illegal. Investigators also found that Bullseye accepted and purchased out-of-state material, which is ineligible for CRV. Many of the transactions were for large volumes of material from repeat customers with out-of-state vehicle license plates.
Other counts in the administrative action against Bullseye focus on the company’s failure to keep proper receipts and other documents. For example, receipts that were reviewed during the audit did not include the total weight or count of materials by material type; the recycling centre’s certification number; or the date of sale. Receipts were not prepared for transactions of more than $100, as required by law.
CalRecycle said that it is undertaking a major and multipronged effort to protect the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Fund from fraud. As of 2014, the new per-person, per-day limits are 100 pounds (45 kg) of aluminium or plastic CRV-eligible containers, and 1000 pounds (450 kg) of CRV glass. Previously, the limits were 500 pounds of aluminium or plastic, and 2500 pounds of glass.
According to the department, aluminium and plastic, due to their relatively light weight, are the most common materials found in truckloads brought across California’s borders for illegal CRV redemption. New regulations also require anyone transporting a load of empty plastic or aluminium beverage containers weighing 25 pounds (11.3 kg) or more, or 250 pounds (113 kg) or more of glass into California, to pass through a California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantine inspection station and obtain and carry proof of inspection.
New training requirements have also been implemented for operators of recycling centres and processing facilities. “This is one more example to those who cheat that recycling fraud will not be tolerated,” commented Caroll Mortensen. CalRecycle.
“Our investigations of suspicious activity are ongoing, and we will continue to take action against those who steal from the recycling fund – both in civil cases such as this one, or by working with our law enforcement partners to pursue criminal convictions,” Mortensen continued.
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