Kramer/Newman Can Scam Hits Maine

Well, sorta:

A memorable “Seinfeld” episode features Kramer and Newman taking thousands of cans and bottles to Michigan so they can get a nickel more per container than they would in New York, but beverage distributors say there’s nothing funny when it happens for real.
In Maine, which has a more expansive bottle-redemption law than neighboring states, three people have been accused of illegally cashing in more than 100,000 out-of-state bottles and cans for deposits, the first time criminal charges have been filed in the state over bottle-refund fraud, a prosecutor said.
A couple that runs a Maine redemption center and a Massachusetts man were indicted this week for allegedly redeeming beverage containers in Maine that were bought in other states.
Thomas and Megan Woodard, who run Green Bee Redemption in Kittery, face the more serious charge of allegedly passing off more than 100,000 out-of-state containers – with a value of more than $10,000 – as if they had been purchased in Maine.

Apparently its a big problem and distributors lose millions every year. But this is really about life imitating “art”. The Seinfeld episode:

In the 1996 “Seinfeld” episode, Kramer and Newman hatch a plan to drive a truckload of cans and bottles to Michigan, because the redemption fee there was 10 cents, double New York’s nickel deposit.
Kramer laments it can’t be done. “You overload your inventory and you blow your margins on gasoline,” he says at one point. But Newman offers up free space in a mail truck he has to drive to Michigan before Mother’s Day – “the mother of all mail days,” he calls it – and the pair head off. (They end up aborting the trip while chasing down Jerry’s stolen Saab.)

Incidentally, I’ve got family in Maine if anyone’s interested and has a mail truck…

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
13 years ago

Here in Arizona, there are no deposits, folks throw beer and soda cans out on the highways by the millions (the way god meant it to be)
These aluminum cans are like “bait” for (Rhode Island native) Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s thugs
If a homeless white person is caught on the highway collecting cans, Maricopa sheriffs have been known to drive them to scrap metal dealers to collect their bounty.
If the good sheriffs find a Brown person collecting cans (legal citizen..or not) they are arrested and charged under a crazy anti-scavenging law from the 1950’s

13 years ago

A can man comes through my hood, goes through everyones bucket and fills his truck. It doesn’t bother me, he doesn’t spill stuff all over or anything.
I remember seeing somewhere the cities were going to ticket or fine people who do that because they were loosing money, but if you want to do the work I think younshould get the money.
When I was a kid my dad would take me and my siblings to collect cans and when we went on vacation the can money was our spending money. It taught the value of work and a dollar.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
13 years ago

My mother had about 800 feet on a well traveled road; she would go out once a week with a large plastic bag to pick up the cans. My friends often asked why I didn’t “take care of her”. I had to explain that she was a “precious metal” dealer.
“Mind the pennies, and the pounds take care of themselves”.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.