The village of Andrew does not appear on the mental map of most Albertans. In the unlikely event it rings a bell at all, it is probably for one of two reasons: as the hometown of former premier Ed Stelmach, who took his share of lumps in the big-city newspapers for being a country bumpkin; or as the hometown of the world's largest duck, a venerable roadside attraction.
Now the 300-odd residents of the central Alberta village — 50 miles northeast of Edmonton — have a new claim to fame that's no less quirky: it may have been home of the largest recycling scam in Canadian history.
Alberta Reclaim and Recycle, an Edmonton-based company owned by Johnny Ha and Shawn Diep, are alleged to have swindled the province out of $769,778 CAD by bringing beverage containers in from Yukon territory in enormous amounts. Their transgression: claiming refunds for deposits on containers that had never been paid. The two men were slapped with an $833,778 "administrative penalty" by the Alberta government in February 2015 — the amount they earned from their scam, plus a $75,000 fine.