California Now Able to Fine for False Statements, Representations

The state of the California is attempting to strengthen reporting and compliance requirements for its e-scrap program by imposing fines for false statements or representations.

Following a controversial decision last month to allow CRT funnel glass to be disposed of at hazardous waste landfills in California, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) was authorized this week to fine participants of the state's e-scrap program if they provide false information or documentation.

In requesting approval from the state to do so, CalRecycle noted participants have been caught in the past offering false documentation to get paid for recycling covered electronic devices. 

"Through CalRecycle staff's own payment claim analysis and review of associated documentation, staff has observed that false documentation continues to be submitted in claims for payment filed with the Department," according to the announcement from CalRecycle. "The use of false documentation or information undermines the integrity of the program."

Consumers in California pay an advanced recovery fee, which is then collected by CalRecycle and used to support and finance a statewide program.

Upon collecting and recycling a device, recycling companies provide documentation to CalRecycle verifying that the material has been appropriately handled. CalRecycle then pays out roughly 44 cents per pound of processed material.

Fines for providing false documentation to CalRecycle range from $500 to $4,000 for "minor violations" and can run as high as $25,000 for "major violations."

In the event a fine is contested, participants may request a hearing to appeal the notice and/or seek a settlement with CalRecycle.

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