Incentive recycler rePlanet is reactivating more than 250 automated reverse vending machines (RVM) for plastic bottle recycling across California.
The Corona, Calif.-based company deactivated the machines earlier this year because of an error on the California Redemption Value conversion rate by the state increased costs. RePlanet said now because of customer demand it decided to absorb the cost until the state fixes the problem, the company said in a press release.
When customers in California redeem an eligible plastic bottle through an RVM, they receive a flat per bottle rate. But when rePLANET recycles those bottles they receive a per-pound rate determined by CalRecycle, the state's recycling agency, the company said, and the per pound rate doesn’t cover the cost of the refund to the consumer. RePlanet said it loses money every time a plastic bottle is redeemed through a machine.
"We still hope the state fixes the rate issue, but we are no longer willing to transfer the cost of existing state errors to our valued customers," said Matt Millhiser, director of marketing for rePLANET. "We are pleased to be able to reactivate the automated machines and ensure our customers continue to enjoy the high-level professional service they've come to expect at rePLANET facilities statewide."
About half of the locations have been reactivated, and Millhiser said the firm expects the remaining machines will be back online by October 31. Customers with questions about the recycling machines or the conversion rate error can go to www.replanetusa.com or call 877-737-5263.