SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - RePlanet, the largest recycling redemption center in California has shut down all 284 of its stations statewide including in San Francisco, Pittsburg, Fremont, and San Ramon.
The company issued a statement stating its demise is due to falling prices for aluminum and plastic and rising operational costs.
Some environmental organizations including GreenAction are concerned the shut down could have ripple effects for poor people and the planet.
"We might see ourselves increasing more uses of incinerators. We need to rethink more about our landfills because less is being recycled than before," said Sheridan Enomoto, of GreenAction.
Some groups are urging Sacramento to require all grocery store chains to pick up the slack and start redeeming recycled cans and bottles.
One San Francisco man says he's been recycling bottles and cans for money at RePlanet's Bayshore Boulevard site for more than 10 years.
"Because when I don't have a job this is what I do," said Francisco Mercado.
Now Mercado has to take his recycling to a different center.
At Recology, San Francisco's waste and recycling plant, more than 650 tons of recycling comes in every day.
Officials say that while the market is down for selling plastics these days, aluminum is in demand.
They don't believe RePlanet's closure will have dire environmental consequences.
"Recycling is going to go forward and continue on because Americans like to recycle, said Recology spokesman Robert Reed. "They feel good about it and it helps protect the environment."
Environmental groups and city officials are reminding people they can still put their bottles and cans in the blue bins.