WHEN HOMELESS HURT THE POOR -
BSC, CA – In the City of Los Angeles, there are 36,300 homeless people, and the county has a total of 58,936 for a total of 95,236 people. Though there are not as many homeless living in Riverside, those living here have managed to drive out a business that helps poor people get by; recycling CRVs, plastic, and glass. RePlanet closed all their remaining locations early in August all over California. The company, which laid off all their employees, stated economic reasons like the rising minimum wage and insurance, but was that really all of it?
When I first moved to Riverside and took cans and bottles in for recycling, I could take a five minute bus ride down to the nearby Staters Supermarket. Depending on when you went, the line was usually a few people with loads of bottles. At first the people in line tended to be families, probably Christian who collect their congregation's empties from church gatherings. Over the months however, I noticed a change in those recycling. Also the supply side to keep the site printers working started getting sketchy. People with cars found more reliable sites, leaving the dregs.
The people in line the last few times at the nearby Staters were homeless, meth heads, druggies, sprinkled with just people who turn in their CRVs. The nearby supermarket quit taking the printouts of tickets, so the RePlanet site started issuing a cash refund. This required an extra person to be onsite as security. The people there now had tons of turn-ins, which always surprised me since you could sometimes tell a hookup, and you knew it wasn't pot that they were looking for.