Recently, Coca Cola told three redemption centers in Connecticut that people will no longer be able to put their products in their machines.
The redemption centers make it easy for people looking to get rid of bottles and cans, like Ray Whitney.
"It’s convenient, a local business, that's the biggest thing,” Whitney said.
But soon, he and others at the M & M Redemption Center in Wallingford won’t be able to put their Coca Cola products in the reverse vending machines.
The Cola company thinks something fishy is going on with the machines that crunch the bottles and cans, so for now they'll only take the recyclable products if they're hand counted and bagged.
"It’s not just Coca-Cola products, it’s not just soda, they offer Sprite, Sprite Zero, Dasani water, Vitamin water, Smart water, Monster drinks, it’s a wide array of different containers,” said Michael Pianka, of M & M Redemption Center.
He and his wife Amanda said they were blindsided by the news, considering Coke products make up 16 to 18 percent of their business.
It’s not just them…Redemption Centers of America in West Haven, and Green Planet Redemption Center in Bristol are also impacted.
"Yesterday we were told, now it’s changed, it’s not a policy issue, now they suspect suspicious behavior. We have no idea what they're talking about. We were dumbfounded that something would be suggested like that,” Pianka said.
In a statement, Coca-Cola said "while our internal evaluation of the data from the rvms is ongoing and the source of the activity is inconclusive at this time, such discrepancies were significant enough to warrant this change at this time."
"We monitor everything that's going on, we have cameras here, so to suggest that something is going on, we have no idea what they're talking about,” Pianka said.
Not being able to put Coke products in machines, one option would be to sort them by hand, count them and bag them, and folks said they just don't have the staff or the space to do that.
The owner of Redemption Centers of America in West Haven says, for now, they're going to try sorting by hand and counting the bottles and cans, but he's not sure if it’s a viable long term solution.
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