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Pallet Recycling Bill Introduced in California
A bill that would limit the purchasing of used pallets by recyclers has been introduced in yet another state.
Date Posted: 5/1/2012
††††††††††††††† A bill that would limit the purchasing of used pallets by recyclers has been introduced in yet another state.
††††††††††††††† The California bill (AB 1583) would prohibit junk dealers and recyclers from purchasing or receiving pallets with any ownership markings from anyone except the indicated owner, unless the seller provides either a receipt from the indicated owner verifying the sellerís current ownership or a document indicating that they are authorized by the indicated owner to sell or transfer the pallets. The recycler would then be required to maintain records of these documents. Existing California law already requires junk dealers and recyclers to maintain records of some information. Violators of the existing California recordkeeping requirements could be charged with a misdemeanor.
††††††††††††††† A similar bill was passed last year in Arizona and a couple others have been introduced in other states. Is this the start of a trend? In some ways this bill has more stringent requirements than the Arizona one. Arizona law now requires recyclers to collect and maintain personal information on anyone who sells five or more marked plastic pallets or 10 or more wooden pallets.
††††††††††††††† One of the main concerns for recyclers is that the records that they are required to keep could end up being used as evidence against them if there are ever issues with proprietary pallets found on their property.† The bill also leaves out many details. What if a pallet recycler buys a truck load of pallets unseen? Are they then required to go back and get documentation for any marked pallets? The proposed bill does not address these or other concerns.
††††††††††††††† California Assembly Member Roger HernŠndez (D-San Gabriel Valley), the billís sponsor, said, ďThis bill makes it more difficult to sell stolen merchandise pallets to junk dealers; the bill would prohibit dealers from purchasing pallets with trademarked names, logos, or indicia of ownership from the seller.Ē
††††††††††††††† However, as few outside of the industry understand, proprietary pallets leak out of the system on a regular basis and end up in the possession of recyclers and others who are simply running their businesses. An undocumented marked pallet is not necessarily a stolen one. The only thing that is certain is that if similar bills are introduced in other states, it could make life much more difficult for pallet recyclers.