CULVER CITY, Calif. - Alberto Gutierrez came to his local RePlanet drop-off, only to find out it was closed. He saved his batch of bottles and cans for about a month.
Gutierrez has been doing this for four years.
He returns the bottles to get the CRV -- California Refund Value -- that is given when you bring your bottles and cans to a recycling collection location. He saves the change for his daughter who is off to college, but also because he thought he was helping the environment.
“I was doing it out of being a good citizen for my state and I always figured it was important to recycle in order to make our environment better,” said Gutierrez.
He would use the RePlanet locations because they were convenient.
“You bring your stuff, you get your money, and you go home,” said Gutierrez.
Now that he learned they are closed for good, he is unsure if he will continue saving bottles and recycling.
“I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding other locations further away from my home. It’s not going to be worth it anymore,” said Gutierrez.
He wasn’t the only one trying to get back their CRV. Many pulled up, saw the RePlanet was closed, and drove away.
They also had no idea why this was happening or that it was permanent.
Gutierrez says he is frustrated because he knows many use this for extra cash or even a way to have money to eat.
He said, “It’s going to impact a lot of people, especially people who have limited income, and especially the homeless.”
Gutierrez feels returning bottles and cans will not be sustainable anymore because it is no longer easily accessible to the public, since RePlanet was the most popular location for locals.
“I don’t foresee myself continuing to recycle things. I’ll pretty much put it in the blue bin and let the city and state handle it,” said Gutierrez.
RePlanet President David Lawrence cited increased business costs and the falling prices of recycled materials like aluminum and PET plastic as among the reasons for the closure.
For those who still want to recycle and get their CRV back, the question is, “What do we do now?”
For a list of beverage container recycling centers, visit: calrecycle.ca.gov