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California fines CVS $3.6M for failing to redeem recyclables

California fines CVS $3.6M for failing to redeem recyclables
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California is fining CVS $3.6 million for failing to redeem recyclables at some of its locations, a Monday release said. 

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is charging the pharmacy company with an enforcement action for failing to meet requirements to accept Californians’ deposits on recycled bottles and cans, the release said. The enforcement action was filed last week.

In California, stores located in “convenience zones” that do not have associated recycling centers must allow customers to redeem California Redemption Value beverage containers or face $100 per day fines. The requirement is designed to support recycling and ensure people have easy access to recycling, according to the release.

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Eighty-one of CVS’s 848 stores across California did not take the redemption value, did not pay the fee or did not submit an affidavit explaining how they would follow redemption standards. 

CVS will owe $1.8 million for $100 per day fees as of Oct. 31 and another $1.8 million for civil penalties. The department will also request reimbursement for investigation costs.

“Today’s action sends a message that we will hold retailers accountable for refunding consumers their nickel and dime recycling deposits,” Jared Blumenfeld, the California secretary for environmental protection, said in the statement. “Everyone must do their part as we work to protect our environment and ensure that all Californians have convenient access to recycling.”

The Hill reached out to CVS for comment. CVS will have the opportunity for an evidentiary hearing, according to the statement.