Aluminum cans and and the pain that goes with them

September 13, 2016
Will Ribadeneira
Will Ribadeneira

Well as a few of you may know, I am not a big fan of the current Aluminum can process. Thanks to California having been quite lax in their CRV policy, can values have been overinflated for several years. This is due to the fact that a small group of individuals figured out that by buying cans in Arizona and selling them in California, they can make some serious coin getting the CRV value without having first paid the CRV deposit. What this has meant to us in AZ is a price for recycled cans that has been more than double their actual scrap value.

"Why does this matter to me?" you may ask? It matters because Cali has finally started making it very difficult to sell the cans in bulk and has gone so far as to charge a few companies with fraud for knowingly buying cans not originating in Cali, costing them millions in fines and possible jail time. Locally, it means the death knell for high can prices as the can people get diminished returns on their nefarious enterprise. It means a return to a true value which most people will not like and will most likely cause a massive slowdown in cans being recycled. Much like with steel, once the value hits a certain low point, people don't bother recycling. This is bad news for both the recycling industry in AZ and the environment. Cans are a "gateway product" that gets people in our yards, where they then learn about all the other items we purchase. In addition, the more things we recycle, the less that ends up in a landfill and that alone should be enough reason to do it.

Anyway, one of two things needs to happen: We institute a CRV program here in AZ, or we educate people on the benefits beyond money for recycling. Since I have little hope in our govt adding a CRV program here, I will continue to preach from my little pulpit here and beg you all to continue recycling, even if the payout isn't as good as it once was. You are not only helping small businesses like RZR Recycling, you are helping to slow down our use of natural resources. So please accept the fact that cans are not as valuable as you thought, and recycle for the good of humanity, as well as your pocket.

One last thing, KEEP THE DARN TABS ON THE CAN! They hold no special value, no matter what your cousin says. If you can find a place that pays 100.00 for a milk jug of tabs send me a message, I'd love to get in on it!

All my best,

Will Ribadeneira

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