West Haven redemption center may close its doors


WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– West Haven residents may have fewer places to take redeemable cans.

Redemption Centers of America may soon have to close its doors. 

Paul Pistitelli said, “It’s going to be tough without this place.” 

Juan Rivera added, “If they close this, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Michael Hansen said the handling fee is too low to stay in business.  

“We are getting two and a half cents now. We want to raise it to three and a half cents,” he explained. 

Hansen added, “That’s why a lot of these redemption centers have gone out of business, because you are literally working on pennies because you can’t even afford to turn the lights on.”

He said they can’t afford to stay open.

The redemption center takes almost every can and bottle, while most grocery stores don’t. Locals told News 8 that redemption centers reduce litter.  

Rivera collects bottles and cans from the streets. He said, “There’s going to be a lot of bottles on the street and, believe me, if they close this it’s going to be real bad.”

Every day, the redemption enter is packed with people recycling bottles and cans. 

Siomara Gonzalez said, “I need it. I needed it. I use for gas. I use for the things I need.”

Rivera added, “I make $160 a week here on a bad day. On a good day, I made like $200.”

Paul Pistitelli said, “I made about 15 bucks today.”

Ann Azevedo added, “This gives us a little bit of extra spending money for our pockets and this is something we can depend on.”

Hansen added, “We get a lot of church organizations that have fundraisers and literally last week we did 16,000 bottles.”

Seniors supplement their income with money from these bottles.

Azevedo said, “We are on a fixed income and this is helpful to us and even though it is only a few dollars it is more than we had.”

People told News 8 they count on the money, but soon, they may have to get it elsewhere.

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