Breaking News!!: Needles, CA: Camdan Recycling is closed in Needles, California.
In a community that is trying to survive with the little they have, people in the community of Needles, California are sad and very upset that a place they relay on for extra needed cash from collected cans and bottles is closed forever.
ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez was at Camdan Recycling, located at 409 East Broadway in Needles, California, as employees said good bye to the many great and wonderful people they served on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015.
ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez speaks to Kodiak Hittle, Supervisor at Camdan Recycling in Needles, California, who talks about why Camdan Recycling is closing, about an audit done on the business, the new regulations in California coming in 2016, the State of California owes Camdan Recycling money, how this closure will effect the community, the jobs that are going to be lost by the closing, and what residents can do to complaint about losing a place they relayed on for that extra bit of cash to purchase milk, bread, or eggs for the family or to pay for gasoline to get to and from work.
According to Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle, Camdan Recycling is closing due to some funding cuts that the State of California escalate and because the State of California has enforce some new laws and regulations that is going to make it impossible for them.
Also, Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle tells ZachNews, “The State of California owes Dan and Cam – the owners of this business – a quite a bit of money; their handling fees for this business and we relay on those handling fees in order to stay in business.”
ZachNews has learned that the State of California owes Camdan Recycling between $50,000.00 and $60,000.00 which the State of California is refusing to pay them.
Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle spoke about the department involve in this matter.
“The department is CalRecycle; they are with the State of California. They send out – they have different branches of this. Several – I want to say 2 and half months ago, we were inspected by a California Inspector name Alex; he came down here. He actually informed us that we were doing our job very well; said that if they had more C.R.V. centers like this one, that they would of – they would have less problems with recycling from. So we though we were in the green – we though we were doing everything we’re suppose to do. The we were hit with this California State audit out of nowhere; they held our – they held our handler fees from July all the way through October, and now these occurred – out right there – so the owners were struggling to hold on and so, they came down, did some investigating of their own, they saw – a course they were going to see a lot of out of state plates pulling in, but they also didn’t realizes that a lot of people here in Needles that are regulator out of state,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
According to their CalRecycle’s webpage, “California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) brings together the state’s recycling and waste management programs and continues a tradition of environmental stewardship. Through landmark initiatives like the Integrated Waste Management Act and Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, California works toward a society that uses less, recycles more, and takes resource conservation to higher and higher levels.”
The CalRecycle webpage also says, “Our state leads the nation with an approximate 65 percent diversion rate for all materials, and today recycling supports more than 140,000 green jobs in California.” and “CalRecycle’s vision is to inspire and challenge Californians to achieve the highest waste reduction, recycling and reuse goals in the nation. Through innovation and creativity, sound advancements in science and technology, and efficient programs that improve economic vitality and environmental sustainability, we build a stronger California.”
ZachNews asked Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle about how has been the reaction from the community to the closing of Camdan Recycling.
“Since this community is a very low income community, this is going to affect a lot of families here; there are so many families that have depend a pond – I mean they are paying C.R.V. at the stores – they are entitle to bring their product down here and collect C.R.V. money back. Rather they take the C.R.V. money and whatever they do with it – it’s their business, but bottom the ticket, they have to buy milk for their family, bread, anything just to get through paycheck to paycheck; there’s a lot of families out here who do that, and it’s going to affect a lot of people really badly. It’s going to make hard times out here for more families,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
ZachNews asked Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle about who are the people who are come into Camdan Recycling.
“The people coming in here that need that, you’ll see them throughout town. They – these people dive into trash cans and give California recycles because they are here in California. Down at Jack Smith Park in the summer time, working their tail off in the middle of the 125*F heat to come down here, get a little bit of extra cash so they can just survive here, and for the State to shut this – I mean they technically not shutting us down, but we have no choice but to shut down; it’s not – you can not financially do it without the help from the State of California – and they know it,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
According to Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle, as result of the audit, the new rules and regulations by the State of California, and in fact that the State of California owes Camdan Recycling money; all those combine, they have to close.
Many people, collecting cans and bottle, are families who need that extra money to by milk, bread, and eggs when they have stretch their paycheck as far as they can, people who are collecting cans to help raise money for their school or sports team, and people saving up money for something they can’t afford to buy today.
Many of these people of from all backgrounds, from our community, and who live in low income housing, live in a nice upscale house, who are unemployed or are employed, who have their own business, who work at our local business, who work on the railroad, who work at the City of Needles, or even myself; we all have needed that extra cash and relayed on Camdan Recycling to be there for them.
In the last few days since news broke only on ZachNews of the closing of Camdan Recycling, deep sadness for the lost of great people, tears from families that this extra cash they call part of their income to survive is gone, and anger over where are we suppose to go; feels growing across the community.
The nearest C.R.V. center for residents of Needles, California can turn in their cans and bottles is in Blythe, California; which is over 2 hours all together away by vehicle or over 62 hours all together walking.
But Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle believe that those C.R.V. centers will go through thing the same thing Camdan Recycling is going through because of them being close to Arizona and they too will have to close as well.
If that happens, Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle tells ZachNews that the next nearest C.R.V. center is in Barstow, California; which is over 4 hours all together away by vehicle which is too far or over 114 hours all together walking which is very far for people who have no transportation and walk with their bag of cans and bottles they collected.
Camdan Recycling not only helped people with that extra bit of cash to get by, it provided jobs which are gone by the closure.
Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle tells ZachNews that himself, Tim; who has worked at Camdan Recycling for 10 years; Gina, and Charlotte; which is the owner’s mother.
“The owners here are extremely upset about it, but they will help us find new jobs,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle tells ZachNews that he would probably have to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tim hopefully has a job line up here in town.
The lost of jobs, a lost of a place a community relays on, and a lost of great a business that helped in community events; all just days before the Christmas holiday.
With the many community events that Camdan Recycling have helped with and participated in, including the Route 66 Hot Boat and Custom Car Show and Golf Tournament, ZachNews asked if they have heard from anybody from the City of Needles or from the Needles Chamber of Commences regarding them closing.
“Absolutely not. We had no support from the City of Needles – not at all,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
Shortly after ZachNews broke the breaking news story on Monday, December 21st, 2015 that Camdan Recycling was closing, Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson wrote on his Facebook, “I just found out late last night and have informed city staff to look at all of our options to help our resident with their recycling needs.”
Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle tells ZachNews that the State of California does have to have a C.R.V. center for here in town and that it’s in their guidelines.
“The guidelines states they have to have a C.R.V. center this population area and the amount of C.R.V. sold in this area they have to have one. So I do recommend to all California residents, especially here in Needles, to voice their opinion – call 1 (800) Recycle and voice their opinion; let CalRecycle know they no longer have a place to take your items to redeem them; Blythe is not an option,” said Camdan Recycling Supervisor Kodiak Hittle.
** Contacts for CalRecycle: **
– By Phone:
1 (800) Recycle (732-9253)
1 (916) 322-4027
– On the website:
** More contact information or to learn more about CalRecycle is at the following website addresses: **
ZachNews has reached out to CalRecycle and later received an email from Mark Oldfield, Communications Director for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
According to Mark Oldfield, Communications Director for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, “The recycling center in question closed without informing CalRecycle of its decision to do so, though we are now aware of it. This was a business decision on the part of the recycling center – CalRecycle did not revoke the center’s certification to participate in the California Redemption Value program. That said, CalRecycle does currently have an open review of the recycling center’s operations to ensure it has been in compliance with state law regarding the proper payment of CRV refunds, and other requirements. Since that review is not yet finished, I don’t have information on the findings. State regulations allow CalRecycle to withhold payment to a recycling center if the department suspects there may have been improper refunds paid out by the center. A review will determine whether improper refunds were made, as well as whether any payments withheld by CalRecycle can be given to a recycling center following the investigation. It is important for consumers to understand that only beverages purchased within California are eligible for CRV refunds. If the beverages are purchased in another state, no CRV was paid on them at the point of purchase, and thus there should be no expectation by consumers of a CRV refund at a California recycling center. Such payments would be in violation of state law. We recognize the challenges a community faces when its only CRV redemption center closes, and this is particularly difficult to address in the state’s more remote locations. On the one hand, it is our responsibility to ensure proper payments from the Beverage Container Recycling Fund in order to protect its long-term viability. On the other hand, we understand the importance of supporting convenient CRV refund opportunities for consumers who purchase eligible beverages in California. Recycling program staff will assess the situation in Needles and to the extent possible provide assistance in finding solutions to the community’s needs.”
** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story. **