Man faces prison time for recycling scheme straight out of ‘Seinfeld’

MICHIGAN — A Michigan man hauling more than 10,000 bottles faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for a recycling scheme reminiscent of a classic Seinfeld episode, according to officials.

Back in April, a police officer pulled Brian Everidge over for speeding in a Budget truck outside of Tyrone Township, Michigan, about 40 miles northwest of Detroit.

Officer Clifford Lyden testified in court Thursday that, after he discovered the truck was “packed” with bottles and bags full of aluminum cans, Everidge admitted he picked them up in Kentucky, where there is no container deposit, and hoped to get the 10-cent deposit for them in Michigan, according to the Livingston Daily.

But Michigan’s recycling laws make it illegal to get money for any items bought in a different state.

Lyden said the truck was so full, “I don’t think you could have put another five or 10 cans in there.”

The scheme is very similar to one hatched by Kramer and Newman in the Seinfeld episode “The Bottle Deposit” where they collect cans in New York and attempt to take them to Michigan. The pair was also unsuccessful in their efforts.

Everidge’s attorney says he was stopped before he committed any alleged crime and therefore is innocent.

Law professor Peter Henning told the Guardian Everidge isn’t likely to go to prison, but the $1,000 payday wasn’t worth the risk, since he now faces a $5,000 fine.

“Kramer was right,” Henning said. “The cost-benefit analysis just doesn’t work.”