BEVERLY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Beverly Bottle and Can Return will close at the end of the month, the latest of many bottle and can redemption facilities to shutter recently in Massachusetts.
Mike Kessel has owned and run the business for 20 years. People bring in cans for five cents each, Mike sorts and returns them to distributors, and he makes three-and-a-quarter cents per can.
But, he told WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers, that's not enough anymore.
Kessel said he could have stayed in business if the state did more to support redemption centers—and if the 2014 ballot question which would have extended the program to water bottles and other drink containers had passed.
"I'm angry," he said. "I really believe the state did this to me. In a way, you have to work for the state, you're under their control, we should be at least protected financially."
One resident said it was a loss for the community—as well as for the planet.
"I think we need these bottle redemption centers and everything, so these things don't end up in the oceans," he said.
More than half of the state's independently-owned can redemption centers have closed down.
Mike said he's concerned about his regular customers, many of whom are homeless or economically struggling.
"Single mothers, the elderly, they come in for three, four, five dollars," he said. "I have one gentleman who comes in for 80 cents a day. You know, any little thing that affects your income nowadays may have an impact on you."
The next closest can redemption center is in Peabody, so he's directing them there.
WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports