Tomra Pacific, Inc. (Tomra) paid $662,244 in civil penalties, costs and restitution to settle a civil law enforcement action brought by the District Attorneys of Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, Fresno and Santa Cruz counties for allegedly underpaying consumers for recyclable materials, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today.
Tomra operates recycling centers throughout California, primarily outside local grocery stores. The Stipulated Judgment, approved by Napa County Superior Court Judge Raymond Guadagni, orders Tomra to implement new procedures for weighing recyclable materials at its centers to prevent the underpayments to consumers from recurring.
“Our office is working with state and local Weights & Measures officials to make sure that consumers who recycle cans, bottles and other materials receive the entire amount of CRV they are owed,” District Attorney Ravitch said.
A multi-county investigation by the State Division of Measurement Standards, the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer, and other Weights and Measures officials from counties throughout the state, revealed that consumers were underpaid at Tomra recycling centers over a four year period.
The underpayments were largely the result of inaccurate procedures used for taking the tare weights of barrels used to weigh consumers’ recyclable materials.
The terms of the Judgment will require Tomra to implement new procedures that will make sure that the tare weights are accurately taken. Tomra cooperated fully in the investigation.
Consumers in Sonoma County who believe they are the victim of fraud are urged to contact the Environmental and Consumer Law Division of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office at (707) 565-3161.