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Reactions mixed as recycler stops paying CRV fees

Reactions were mixed at the Burbank Recycle Center on Tuesday — the first day the facility stopped paying CRV reimbursement for recyclables after its operator was slapped with allegations that it filed $33 million in fraudulent claims at another recycling center.

The change threatens to drive customers like Cathy MacDonald away. The Burbank resident usually receives about $6 per visit for her recyclables. On Tuesday, she only got 23 cents.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” she said as she brought her plastic recyclables to the facility on Flower Street.

She planned to take her aluminum cans to another recycling center for full CRV reimbursement.


The center now pays only scrap value for aluminum cans and plastic items.

It used to pay $1.54 for a pound of aluminum cans, but it dropped to 20 cents under the new arrangement. And where customers could once get 93 cents for clear plastic bottles and 55 cents per pound for opaque plastic items, they now just get 5 cents per pound.

Other recyclables, including glass, receive no payment.

The reimbursements were discontinued at the Burbank Recycle Center because it no longer receives state CRV funds for curbside recycling after its operator, Geoff Folsom and Burbank Recycling Inc., allegedly bilked the state out of $33 million in fraudulent recycling claims at a facility in Long Beach.


A new contractor, Burrtec Waste Industries Inc., will start operating the center next month.

It’s expected Burrtec will file an application as soon as possible to recertify the center for state CRV funds, said recycling coordinator Kreigh Hampel.

Public Works Director Bonnie Teaford said state officials have indicated the earliest the facility could be recertified is October 2012.

For Burbank resident Linda Fisher, it’s worth going to another recycling center that pays full CRV reimbursement.

She stores her recyclables in a shed and brings them in when she has a day off from her job. Usually, she drives in four carloads of recyclables and is paid a total of about $68.

“I use it to buy groceries,” Fisher said.

But for others, the change won’t be big enough to prompt other customers to drive to another location.

Christian Dewey of Burbank said he will probably continue going to the Burbank Recycle Center because it’s close to his home and on his way to work or the gym.


He said the change wouldn’t hit his wallet too hard since he used the proceeds for extra gas money.

It was similar story for Karyn Maag-Weigand, who also said she’d continue using the center.

“I don’t do it for the money. I do it to recycle,” she said.