January 8, 2010
Letter to the Editor
We write in response to a recent reports critical of our local Crestline recycling center. We are ardent supporters of California's recycling efforts and appreciative of having a local center available to us. We have recently become aware of the difficulties that confront the operation of these centers and wish to share with the public what confronts not only our local center, but even the much larger chain recyclers.
It appears that the state of California, in an effort to balance its enormous deficit, has chosen to "borrow" from the fund accumulated from the monies we pay when we purchase beverages. This fund was established to provide recyclers a means to make a living from their efforts. The state has now borrowed so much ($438 million!) that it has driven the recycling fund into insolvency. Payments to recyclers have been eliminated or so greatly reduced that it is driving many recyclers to layoff employees, reduce days of service or go out of business.
A lawsuit against the state of California has been filed by the largest recycling company (Tomra Pacific Inc.) demanding repayment of the borrowed funds.
Initially these funds were to be repaid by June 30, 2009. Lawmakers have now postponed repayment until June 30, 2013. Assuming that repayment could be made by that date, how many centers will be able to survive, and how much more recyclables will end up in landfills?
Because of the recession, many businesses have failed and many of our locals depend on the monies they receive from our local center. It is those nickels and dimes that may well be cut off by the current financial situation.
We appreciate the reality that our local center has to deal with: Lower volumes of materials due to a smaller population and weather constraints that already impact its ability to maintain operations. We feel that it is important to support our local recycling center for its environmental efforts, its convenience, and its attempt to give our locals an opportunity to supplement their incomes with the revenues from recycling.
JON and NATALIE OLSON