- Recycling centers in the Corpus Christi, TX area have been issuing identification cards to customers to help prevent criminals from collecting cash for recyclables. When customers arrive to the recycling centers, they must show a valid personal ID as well as the recycling card in order to receive cash.
- The Texas Metal Theft Statute, issued in April, aims to prevent the theft of copper, however the recycling ID cards also help regulate the sale of other metals, such as aluminum and brass.
- If customers don't have a valid ID and recycling card, they can only receive money through a check in the mail.
Recycling theft is a crime that has swept the industry as many consumers — and even industry employees — try to find "loopholes" in the recycling system. In July, a California truck driver was arrested for attempting to smuggle more than $7,000 worth of plastic and aluminum beverage containers from Arizona into California. The criminal, Cesar Vargas, was the third person to be arrested for recycling fraud in California this year.
The lack of uniformity in recycling laws from state to state has given criminals an opportunity to try to beat the system. However, new metal theft mandates may be a solution. If other states can adopt recycling laws similar to the identification card requirement, the industry may have a chance at minimizing theft overall.