Eviction imminent for San Francisco Community Recycler's Center

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A sleepy yet dedicated crowd turned out for an early-morning eviction defense for the recycling center.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

This morning (Wed/16), outside the San Francisco Community Recycler's Center in the parking lot of the Safeway at Church and Market streets, a group of protesters stood in a cluster, chanting: “Cans not condos!”

As the Guardian previously reported, Safeway is in the process of evicting the recycling center, which continued to operate up until yesterday. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which carries out evictions on Wednesdays, had signaled to the center’s operators that they could be forced out anytime after July 16.

That led supporters and volunteers with the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness to show up at 5:30am in a bid to beat the sheriff there. They stood on the sidewalk outside the recycling center’s locked gate, waving signs.

“We’ll be holding space as long as we can,” Lisa-Marie Altorre, of the Coalition on Homelessness, told the Guardian a little after 7am. Calls to the Sheriff’s Department were not returned, but Altorre said around 12:15 that supporters had received "official word" that the eviction would be going forward, "likely later in the day."

[UPDATE: Sheriff's Department deputies showed up at 7am the next morning to enforce the eviction, and the center is now closed.]

Sup. Scott Wiener told the Guardian in an earlier interview that his District 8 constituents had complained about the recycling center’s presence, saying the facility draws too many unruly patrons, who are often homeless. A new condominium development looms over the recycling center from one direction, while a mixed-use condo development with a Whole Foods on the ground floor lies just across the street.

But recycling center operators argue that the eviction will be harmful to patrons, who need the extra money to get by, and that it will erode the city's environmental goals. There's also an issue of impacts on surrounding small businesses, which could be required under state law to accept recycling in-store, a burdensome task for smaller retailers, or to pay fees.

“Eliminating community-based recycling has grave impacts on San Francisco, from public safety to huge environmental fails, including moving us away from goals of being Zero Waste in 2020,” said Ed Dunn of the San Francisco Community Recyclers Center. Dunn was previously affiliated with the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center, which was evicted from a parking lot in Golden Gate Park. "It is sad to think any elected leader would support a move like this," Dunn said, "and a corporation like Safeway would get away with turning their back on their corporate civic responsibility to something as vital as recycling.”

Comments

haul away the recycling. It's great, they come on the same day every week and just haul it away.

It's changed my life.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

Every house, apartment, condos and businesses in San Francisco has recycling containers for cans and bottles that is picked up weekly. Whats the fuss all about?

Posted by GUEST on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

because not everyone who patronizes these recycling centers has a "house, apartment, condos" or home. The CRV goes back to them with these recycling centers.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

not be blowing money on booze, and so won't have any bottles to recycle anyway

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

they pick plastic bottles out of public garbage cans and off the street, which would otherwise end up in a landfill, and recycle them.

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandowner on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 12:37 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:16 am

Nope. First off the homeless will not buy coke cans or plastic water. This means they are picking the redeemables from recycling trash containers. This CRV is supposed to go to Recology who in turns is supposed to lower its rate. Redeemables theft is one of the major reasons Recology rates are higher.

I can understand why the homeless would need the money, but this is forced subsidization. If we are going to pay to support the homeless even more, can we at least vote for it?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

You are taxed 5 cents on each can or bottle of water, beer, soda etc. It is the law that you be able to redeem ( the R in CRV - California Redemption Value) that empty bottle and get your money back. Without the option for you to redeem these bottles and cans, you are being stolen from by the state of California. Remember, every time you buy a bottled beverage, the CRV tax is being taken from you and you have no say in how that money is spent. California is betting on the fact that you will not redeem these bottles and cans so they can take your hard earned money and do with it what ever they want. I hope you enjoy being ripped off.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

Then all supermarkets should have those machines that accept one bottle at a time to redeem the CRV like the one at the Safeway on 7th and Cabrillo. If people want, they can easily redeem their CRV. If not, they can put their cans and bottles out in their recycling. Problem solved.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

fine for Recology to collect that fee so that I don't have to shlep the bottles around

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

I wish Rebecca had reported that activist Michael Petrelis, who is on the ballot as an alternative candidate against Wiener, supports keeping the recycling center. He's got two web sites that Guardian writers and readers should visit.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petrelis4supe8

And also here: http://www.ilikemikesf.org/

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

the pervert who was arrested for taking pictures of someone's cock in the men's room?

A: Yes

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

@Guest - He was not successful in his attempt to photograph Scott Wiener's private parts. I guess his campaign literature will need to use different graphics than intended.

Posted by Jym on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

Then sold at the Recycling Center. End the waste and shut down this eyesore.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

First, there have only been about 7 citations in the past year for recycling theft city-wide.

Second, an "eyesore" or the presence of poor people isn't an appropriate argument to get rid of an important recycling center literally generating millions of $ for poor people every year--only a good argument for entitled jerks who think their perception is more important than peoples' survival.

Lastly, the blue bins let the CRV value go to Recology, not the purchaser who originally paid the CRV of 5 or 10 cents. So go ahead and put em in the blue bins, but your giving your money away.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

Just 7 huh? Guess they aren't happening then?

Its completely misleading to say that the bins aren't efficient and that we need to recycling center - every one on my street is picked clean every week, we're probably the world's worst recyclers huh?

I'd gladly trade more recycle centers for a total crack down on bin fishing. But then I'm guessing they'd go out of business the old fashion way.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

The City has a recycling program. We are required to use it. The program was sold to us based on the amount of positive offsets the program generated. The program makes money on Aluminum, makes little to break even on glass, and loses money on paper.

Every week, in every neighborhood, I have witness individuals and groups raiding these bins of the only valuable assets, Aluminum and Glass. This inverts the city program from self-sustaining to a double cost. The raiders take these goods and get paid out of CRV collection. How does that help the community?

If you want recycling, build a recycling program that works. If you want a homeless program, build one that works. But don't cripple a recycling program to be a bandaid for a homeless program.

It needs to go and the police need to enforce the recycling law (just not a priority for SFPD making the citation numbers irrelevant).

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

The majority of the people that take cans and bottles to the recycling site at Safeway seem to be in there 30s, 40s and 50s and seem healthy enough, why aren't they working at a real job like the rest of us ?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

I recycle because I have disabling AIDS. I feel like SF no longer wants me here because I have AIDS and I am poor. Compassion is a wonderful thing. So was the food / nutrition that recycling provided me. I would never wish my life on you, "Mr. The Rest of Us". I only ask that you have a little empathy and compassion for it.

Posted by Guest compassion on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

There are many different city, state and federal programs for PWAs - you don't need to recycle used cans for .05 cents a piece to afford food when you're burdened with AIDS.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

keep the safeway recycling center, because there are clearly not enough places in SF for homeless people to congregate.
like every corner downtown and 95% of the tenderloin.

Posted by Oh Irony on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

Safeway had a recycling center in the Safeway near where I live in Fulton and La Playa. They closed it because of the issues the employees had with some of the customers and the unsavory types that hung around the parking lot. Some of the Asian women were pretty aggressive with the employees when they refused to take glass because the bin was full or the bottles they were taking were not CRV.
Obviously the people protesting in the photograph are not the usual recycler.

Posted by Guest Fights on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:39 am

They have one of those machines where you redeem one bottle at a time at the Safeway at 7th and Cabrillo. I've never seen any problems there.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

there's your problem!

the white male conservative tool, the intellectual flea, the danube of venality has spoken!

oh look another white male philistine has joined the thread ;

" End the waste and shut down this eyesore."

End your life and reclaim the minerals you fucking insect!

Posted by guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 6:10 am

what I come away with is that he actually listens. In other words, he balances the opinions of his constituents and then acts accordingly. Rather than impose his wn kneejerk ideology on those around him.

So if Wiener argues to remove a recycling center it is because that is what his voters tell him. Like when he sought to ban nudes in the Castro.

There will always be some ideologues who think they know better than anyone else, like you. But I prefer my politicians to listen and then do what most of us want, rather than impose their world view on us regardless of what we think.

And that is why Scott's constituents love him.

Oh, and recyclables are hauled away one a week from right outside my home. I love it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 6:38 am

Weiner does not listen, he bristles at challenge, shuts down and if pushed back against hard enough, he starts whining.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 7:04 am

Does he listen to a failed political aspirant who now merely bitches 24/7 on the internet? No. And he shouldn't. You had your chance and you failed.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 7:16 am

The reasons why Safeway closed down the recycling center is the mess some of these people were causing in the parking lot, their unruly behavior, and the theft rate in the store.

Aside from that, who in their right mind wants to enter an area where homeless drug addicts, alcoholics and seriously mentally ill persons congregate?

San Francisco spends a lot of money every year for the homeless, but it's laughable if you think it is solving the problem or even making a dent in it. The homeless problem is the United States is greater than the ability of any one city or state to alleviate. It would take real action at both the federal and state level. With Congress held hostage by Republicans, good luck! Hopefully that will change, but it is simply hubris to think San Francisco can do it alone.

I am not advocating we do nothing for the homeless, but the reality is the vast majority of San Franciscans have problems and needs too - like not being priced out of the city, not being run over as pedestrians and bicyclists, not having to frequently step over human excrement, improving the always underperforming Muni, dealing with the shockingly poor performance of our schools, and making sure the rich don't destroy the beauty and views of our wonderful city.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

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