Aug 23 - Recycling Center Closures Costing Jobs

San Francisco community members who have relied on recycling centers to redeem their CRV won’t be able to go to the center in the Safeway parking lot on Market Street after Sept. 6.

The center has been evicted, and it won’t just impact those who rely on the center for CRV redemption, it’s actually costing jobs, according to a recent story in the Bay Area Reporter.

"It's been at that location since 1985," recycling center director Ed Dunn said in an email to the Bay Area Reporter. "It employs eight full-time and part-time workers at the site."

When asked what the workers would do, Dunn responded with one word: "Unemployment."

Four centers have been closed this year: HANC, Nexcycle on Masonic Street, and the centers in the Safeway lots at Market and Webster streets. If anything, San Francisco is the most underserved community in the state (compared to the statewide average of one per every 16,000 residents) in terms of buyback recycling opportunities, with only one center for every 38,000 residents.

In addition to the lost jobs, these center closures have a disproportionate impact on the wide variety of residents who depend on CRV, including seniors, families, recent immigrants, small businesses, bars and delis.

Curbside recycling is not a replacement for recycling centers. It was always intended to be complementary. This won’t change. And with four recycling centers closing in less than a year, San Francisco risks falling even further behind. This is alarming in a city that has worked so hard to build its reputation not just as a supporter, but as a pioneer in recycling programs.

Under the Bottle Bill, there must be a location within a half-mile of supermarkets to redeem bottles and cans; otherwise, they must allow consumers in-store redemption or pay a fee of $100/day to the state. With the two recycling centers at the San Francisco stores closed, Safeway consumers will now either have to redeem in store or have to pay higher grocery costs to offset the fee.

You can take action and Tell Safeway to Stop Closing Public Recycling Centers by siging the petition here.

Photo credit: Bay Area Reporter

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