Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A Californian truck driver has been charged with smuggling tons of used beverage containers from out of state into California, to defraud the California Redemption Value (CRV), which pays out 5 – 10c per beverage container at Californian recycling centres.
According to Reuters;
A Los Angeles-area truck driver has been charged with smuggling 7,000 pounds of used beverage containers into California from out of state, marking the third such arrest this year in a crackdown by California’s recycling enforcement agents.
Cesar Vargas, 42, is accused of trying to defraud the California Redemption Value (CRV) program, which allows empty soft-drink bottles and cans to be redeemed at state-certified recycling centers for the 5- or 10-cent deposits consumers pay on those containers when they are purchased.
California’s so-called bottle bill program, which collects and redeems roughly $1.2 billion in deposits a year, was launched in 1987 to encourage recycling of beverage containers made of glass, plastic and aluminum.
California is one of 10 U.S. states with similar programs. Because most states, including neighboring Arizona and Nevada, lack their own container-deposit laws, California restricts its CRV payments to returned in-state containers only.
This Californian fraud case might be peanuts compared to say the massive carbon credit frauds which rocked Europe in 2009, or the Danish carbon trading fraud scandal of 2010, where criminals using false identities and fraudulent carbon credits robbed Denmark of 2% of its GDP, or the multi billion dollar carbon exchange hacking scandal of 2011. You might recall that the gigantic European carbon frauds only faded away to an extent, after the European carbon market collapsed – though as a recent WUWT post shows, criminals are still active in what is left of the world’s carbon markets.
However, this case serves as a reminder, that green subsidies attract criminals like maggots to rotten meat. And who knows, beverage container fraud seems such a simple, obvious crime – the handful of arrests (3 this year) may just be the tip of the iceberg.