GREGG NEWBURY, San Clemente

I just learned by reading in the SC Times that all the recycling centers we know in San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano were closed due to changes in the California laws. Where do we go now?

According to the article, these closures put 600 people out of work. That is bad enough, but homeless people, senior citizens, and other people on the brink trying to eke out a living who had depended on money from a nearby source of recycling, now have no place to take their plastic bottles and make a few bucks. It is expensive living in California and now a source of income for the lowest rung on the ladder has been removed.

This is what happens when you have a one-party rule. They raised the minimum wage; that caused expenses to go up. They legislated health care coverage; that raised expenses as well. High enough to put this industry out of business.

I fear a similar thing will happen with ridesharing companies in California, by the way. A proposed law will force Uber and Lyft to make drivers employees of their respective companies, offering minimum wages and health care coverage, instead of independent contractors. Ridesharing has changed our culture. I don’t think these companies can stay in California with this new law.

I met a 96-year-old man who told me he sold his car when he learned of Lyft. Many people with a first job use ridesharing to get to and from their jobs until they can earn enough money to afford a vehicle. People injured depend on Lyft and Uber for transportation. And this provided a low-barrier-to-entry job for extra income and primary income in some instances. What do we do now?

We start with voting in candidates other than Democrats into state and national offices.

Editor’s note: RePlanet operated as many as 600 redemption centers in the state of California during peak operations. The company laid off 750 employees when it closed this August, and laid off 300 employees in 2016.

 

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