Man Attempts To Pull Off Legendary ‘Seinfeld’ Michigan Bottle Deposit Scheme
Brian Edward Everidge, 44, of Columbiaville, Michigan, was arrested in nearby Livingston County under suspicion of trying to illegally return more than 10,000 empty bottles to a recycling plant in order to collect the 10 cents per bottle deposit the state offers.
“What gives?” you might ask. A man was arrested for trying to save the Earth and reduce waste? Well, the issue at hand is that the bottles in Everidge’s possession were not bought in the state of Michigan.
Yes, Everidge was attempting to pull of the great “Seinfeld” Michigan bottle deposit scam.
Episodes 21 and 22 of season seven of “Seinfeld” are a two-parter epic dealing with the recycling scheme to end all recycling schemes. As Kramer explains to Newman early in the first episode, different states give cash refunds to encourage recycling, with Michigan offering a premium 10 cents per bottle deposited versus only a nickel offered by most other states. Newman wonders why people from other states wouldn’t just flock to Michigan to cash in on the additional incentive, but as Kramer explains it, the numbers aren’t so easy to crunch.
When you load up a vehicle with enough bottles and cans to see a significant ROI, you end up increasing your overhead on things like gasoline, truck rentals, and tolls and fees. Kramer encourages his friend to forget it, but finally, Newman finds a loophole: Mother’s Day.
Unfortunately, Kramer and Newman’s scheme goes south once they get on the road, and it seems the same happened for Everidge. It turns out the Michigan bottle deposit scheme isn’t just financially tough to crack — it’s illegal as hell. Via the Livingston Daily:
Police said the officer stopped Everidge for speeding around 10 p.m. April 27 on northbound U.S. 23 near Faussett Road in Tyrone Township.
The officer noticed a large quantity of bottles in Everidge’s rental vehicle and became suspicious. Subsequent investigation revealed Everidge’s alleged plot to return more than 10,000 non-returnable bottles from other states at stores in Michigan.
Michigan’s Beverage Container’s Act states that:
- A person shall not return or attempt to return to a dealer for a refund 1 or more of the following:
(a) A beverage container that the person knows or should know was not purchased in this state as a filled returnable container…
- A person who violates subsection (1) is subject to 1 of the following:
(d) If the person returns 10,000 or more nonreturnable containers, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
Everidge is currently out on bond and is due in court June 29 for a preliminary exam. Hopefully he keeps his hands off the farmer’s daughter.