Six people are behind bars after officials uncovered a $10 million recycling fraud scheme that involved bringing more than nine tons of cans and bottles from Arizona where they were purchased to recycle them for more money in Los Angeles and Ontario.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed the charges of recycling fraud and grand theft against six people Wednesday for bringing over nine tons of materials from Arizona to take advantage of the California Redemption Value program.

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California's CRV Program is from CalRecycle, subsidized by California consumers every time they buy an eligible beverage container - like a bottle or can, and pays up to 10 cents per container when brought in for recycling. Only bottles and cans from California are eligible for redemption under this program, the Attorney General's Office said.

"Beverage deposits belong to Californians and the state will continue to actively protect these funds," CalRecycle Director Machi Wagoner said in a statement.

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Arizona, where the suspects brought the cans from, has a similar program to return cans bought within the state. A state Department of Justice investigation determined the defendants brought truckloads of aluminum cans and plastic bottles from Arizona into California between September of 2021 and March of this year to redeem the cans value of those items.

"When individuals skirt California's recycling laws, California consumers are hurt in the process," Bonta said in a statement. "The California Redemption program is an important tool in our efforts to encourage recycling, reduce waste, and address climate change."

Read more at CBS News

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