- A man named Brian Everidge is facing up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for one felony count of beverage return of non-refundable containers in Michigan.
- A state trooper discovered more than 10,000 aluminum cans in the back of Everidge's rented box truck when he was pulled over for speeding near Detroit in April. The cans were from Kentucky.
- Michigan's 10-cent deposit refund is one of the highest in the country and has attracted similar efforts in the past, especially from border towns in neighboring states.
Everidge was more than 70 miles into the state by the time he was pulled over, but his lawyer is arguing that this still doesn't meet the legal threshold for "attempting" to deliver the bottles because he never made it to a redemption center. If convicted, it's unlikely that Everidge will receive the full sentence or any prison time at all. Such penalties are often reserved for commercial vendors rather than individuals.
Michigan's 10-cent refund is seen as a model by advocates of redemption programs and unclaimed deposits help fund programs by the state's environmental agency. In most of the 10 states which have bottle bills, the deposit is 5 cents. Maine and Vermont have 15-cent deposits for liquor and wine bottles and beverages bigger than 24 ounces have a 10-cent deposit in California.
The California Department of Justice’s Recycling Fraud Team has been particularly aggressive in cracking down on fraud attempts lately. In recent years, bills have been passed to better identify drivers bringing material in from other states and limit the amount of material which can be redeemed in a given day.