Coon’s Cans has businesses in both Phelps and Geneva for people to take their returnable cans and bottles, but recently it has been closed.
Not only has Coon’s Cans remained closed, but so has Staples Redemption Center in Canandaigua and D&M Grocery’s redemption center in Waterloo.
The closure is due to TOMRA not picking up the recycling at these businesses, which would free up space for them to take in more, like they normally do, as well as pay them for the cans and bottles.
Cathy Coon said when customers drop off their cans and bottles, she pays them for them, but she isn’t paid for them until TOMRA picks them up. If they aren’t picking them up, she isn’t getting paid, and not only is she out of space but she’s unable to pay her customers for their recycling.
Two-Can Dan’s in Penn Yan is facing similar issues with TOMRA failing to pick up the cans and bottles, but has more space because the business is located in an old factory.
Shelly Mueller, owner of D&M, stated that while they aren’t receiving compensation for the recycling because it hasn’t been picked up like it’s supposed to be, they at least have income from owning the grocery store attached to the business.
A driver told Mueller that the reason for lack of picking up was due to Covid-19, but Coon says these issues have been happening often and for years.
TOMRA also recently opened a local recycling center, competing with places like Coon’s Cans and D&M, while simultaneously holding a contract with them to take their recycling and pay them.
Coons says there’s no other companies for them to contract with and that TOMRA has faced the largest fine ever levied from the European Union due to violating antitrust laws. It was over $31 million dollars.
Coons has reached out to local officials and the DEC to look into the issue.
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