It may seem like a silly thing to many of us. We discard cardboard every day. When we are shipped something in the mail, we tear open the box and either recycle it or throw it in the trash. While we no longer want the item, recycling can be very lucrative.
In New Jersey, three men were arrested this week and accused of theft offenses relating to a recycling operation. According to law enforcement officials, the men had created a ruse to collect cardboard from stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club across New Jersey. Currently, the value of cardboard has wavered around $100 per ton.
Large stores like the ones involved in this transaction produce large amounts of recyclable cardboard waste on a daily basis. According to law enforcement officials, the men posed as legal waste haulers and picked up the cardboard from the stores. Men would go ahead of the truck and act as a scout for an available loading dock. The men would then bring the larger truck and pick up the recyclable materials. They would then sell the cardboard at several transfer stations located in New Jersey and across New York.
The reports say that at one point, the men were traveling on six routes that they had created per day. The operation allegedly sold 900 tons of cardboard that they had collected for approximately four months for $103,000.
The New York City Business Integrity Commission was the agency in charge of the investigation. The agency says that the scheme could fall under the purview of organized crime.
Source: Waste Management World, “Cardboard Gangsters Arrested in New Jersey Recycling Swindle,” Aug. 2, 2012
If you want more information about what to do after being accused of a similar charge, our theft and shoplifting page will provide answers.