HANC evicted, but the poor recyclers could remain in the Haight

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State law requires stores to buy back empty cans and bottles unless there is a recycling center, like HANC, nearby.


In a win for the gentrifiers of the Haight Ashbury, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council's (HANC) Recycling Center has been issued an official eviction notice, posted by the Sheriff's Department, and is slated to be out on the street by this Wednesday, Dec. 5. But those who hoped this would rid the neighborhood of poor people recycling bottles and cans may be disappointed.

The HANC site in Golden Gate Park -- which houses a community garden, native plant nursery, and recycling center -- has been battling eviction pushed by the Mayor’s Office and mayoral appointees for nearly a decade. Previously, the city Recreation and Park Department pushed for HANC to leave, a stand reinforced by court rulings, but the eviction notice looks like the last nail in the coffin. The recycling center’s employees will lose their jobs just as the winter holiday season begins.

“The notion that they’d put people out of work before Christmas was horrendous,” said Ed Dunn, HANC’s director. The eviction caught him totally flat footed, as he had just last week given a tour to San Francisco officials interested in mediating the dispute.

“It seemed like there was growing awareness that we’re a public good,” Dunn said. “I guess that went nowhere.”

Deputies posted the eviction notice at HANC’s doors on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Susan Fahey, the Sheriff's Department media relations officer, declined to discuss the details on how the department would handle the eviction, saying only that “we plan accordingly.”

And though some, like Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius, are celebrating HANC’s demise, the unintended consequences should have all small businesses in the Haight Ashbury worried.

 State law requires that Californians have easy access to a “convenience zone,” basically somewhere nearby that they can sell the cans and bottles and get back the “redemption” fee charge to consumers. HANC served that purpose for a half mile radius around its location on Frederick, near Stanyan.

“My position is we have to understand the full potential of the decision we’re making,” Regina Dick-Endrizzi, director of San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, told us. Namely, that without HANC, two local grocers will have to pick up the slack and buy back the bottles and cans they sell.

“Whole Foods and Andronicos were serviced by HANC’s existence,” Dick-Endrizzi said. With HANC gone, “they will be required to buy back [bottles and cans] from local stores.”

The whole reason that HANC was being pushed out in the first place was due to a vocal few, like the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association, saying that HANC was a magnet to the homeless population and their shopping carts filled with bottles and cans. Now those same poor folks may take their business from Golden Gate Park to the Haight neighborhood itself, frequenting the local Whole Foods, defeating the whole purpose behind the opposition's scorn for HANC.

But sometimes local grocery stores defy the state mandate, and instead choose to pay state fines, Dick-Endrizzi said. If they choose not to take recyclables, small businesses all over the Haight would be required to individually pay customers for their used recyclables.

If they don’t, small businesses could be fined as $100 a day under state law. A year gone without dealing with the issue could cripple a business, with fines up to $36,000.

When contacted, Whole Foods representative Adam Smith said that the company was aware of the issue and was still deciding on a course of action for the neighborhood.

Comments

"which houses a community garden, native plant nursery, and recycling center"

Um, Joe? The garden and nursery were installed only recently, long after the first eviction notice arrived.

The Dunn Strategy:
"Look! I've got me a native plant garden! Now you can't evict me."

That would have set a nice precedent. Anytime some wants to avoid eviction, they could start a native plant nursery.

Operating industrial equipment in San Francisco's most beautiful park is not part of the City Charter.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:56 am

Well that's just a bold lie or an inanity offered out of ignorance.

The nursery has been ongoing for at least a decade and much of the recent native plant restoration in the city originated there; notably work on Tank Hill and around Twin Peaks.

As for your pious admonition about the city charter in regard the running of industrial equipment in GG Park, I'd like to offer a proposition for ballot approval that all such be banned from the park, starting with cement mixers, pavers, asphalt trucks and such.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:30 am

Um, Lilly?

The Center has been a month-to-month rental since 1991. It got its first eviction notice in 2005. The native-plant thingy began in 2009.

Crawl back in your hole, boy.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:47 am

You have to either be a willful liar or willfully ignorant to make your false claim.

Greg Gar has been a booster of native plant restoration And I started recycling at HANC in 1990. The native plants started out along the fence closest to the Kezar Stadium track with rows of potted seedlings on boards supported off the ground by cinder blocks. They were behind the large green metal paper recycling bins.

Posted by lillipulicans on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 9:06 am

Anyway no cause is needed for this eviction - it's a month-to-month deal that can be ended by either party upon demand.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 9:18 am

Troll, you are really trawling for abuse, eh?

Almost ALL rental property in the city is MONTH-TO-MONTH!!!

That bridge behind Alvord Lake looks mighty fine for you to crawl back under.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

You're an ass and you'll probably be hearing from Greg Gaar who runs the Native Plant Nursery. This HANC program has been around for some time and supplies Rec&Park gardeners with plants.

You can now crawl back under the bridge, Troll.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

"State law requires that Californians have easy access to a “convenience zone,” basically somewhere nearby that they can sell the cans and bottles"

The "convenience zone" is in the recycle box placed at your residence by Recology.

But you can't "sell" the recyclables. You can only give them away in order to facilitate recycling.

How awfu!

Posted by Guest on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:00 am

"Recycle Zones"

Yes, a law written before we had home pick-up throughout the city (and state). It's still on the books.

There are probably laws about buggy whips still on the books, too.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2012 @ 6:31 am

convenient means to redeem the deposit charged at the point of sale is is tantamount to saying that the idea of the CRV being a deposit was a lie and that it is in fact a tax -- a regressive tax.

Of course, the regressives don't mind messing around with wholly unethical reasoning. It doesn't bother them in the least.

They are even likely to cop an an attitude of superiority over such mental gymnastics.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 9:33 am

It's not necessary to have such a location in a park.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 10:21 am

You are being purposefully ignorant to your detriment, Guest. I don't post comments often but reading this thread I don't think you have ever read this piece of public policy before but instead just like to incite lies instead for attention.

For your information, sidewalk pickup does NOT satisfy state law because Recology is a "service for hire" where the customer pays to have the recyclables removed and DOESN'T get any credit for the recyclables they put in the blue bin. It's just a fact and the law.

State law *requires* a "convenience zone" where stores will "buy-back" those recyclables for the fee marked on it.

It's better to be well-informed rather than imagine you can change public opinion. You underestimate and just insult the readers. Best to stop while you are ahead.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

helping the State.

Why waste fuel driving bottles to HANC to collect a lousy 5 cents per bottle?

And most of what HANC recycles isn't stuff they pay for anyway.

HANC is going and good riddance. The only folks who will suffer are the drug pushers in GG park.

Safeways can handle the bottles if you must.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2012 @ 7:11 am

Gotta agree with Lil Lilly on this one.

The People don't want recycling boxes at home. The People want an industrial waste unit in Golden Gate Park.

The People have spoken.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:49 am

The rest of us use kerbside recycling, of course.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 9:21 am

Frankly, saying that it is "in" GG Park is rather disingenuous.

The recycling center is on the most outer dot of land that no visitor to GG Park would ever come across. And, it's hardly the industrial site you are trying to make it out to be. We're not talking about something equal to the waste water treatment plant RPD tried to install in the middle of the park and sneak it under the visitors and the taxpayers' noses.

People know what a recycling buy-back center is whether it is classified as this or that. It's really time to stop this nonsense folks.

(Guest, if you /are/ going to make such insinuations then please be honest as to your identity instead of lobbing peanut shells from the gallery. It's both immature and cowardly.)

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

Nice work keeping those goalposts on the move.

Of course people don't go to that corner of the park. Who would want to with a light industrial waste-handling facility sited there? Maybe it would be better if that part of Golden Gate Park was occupied by some kind of park-related thing that people might actually want to visit.

Posted by Erik on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 8:44 am

Many regular folks use HANC. I spent more than a few days hanging out there to write this and past stories. And while sure, there are totally patrons pushing shopping carts, by and large, many of their patrons come by car!

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2012/10/25/profiling-those-who-rely-hanc-wh...

Posted by Joe Fitzgerald on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 10:05 am

to waste gas or effort taking the bottles etc. to HANC unless they want to be paid a pittance for them.

It's the homeless who use HANC, and of course then buy drugs and alcohol with the proceeds.

It also encourages people to steal recycling from the bins on the sidewalk, often leaving a mess and making a noise.

Recycling centers might have made sense in the 1970's, but they do not any longer. Enough already - let the poor thing die.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 10:31 am

Anonymous, I have to say that is a class-ist remark. People do bring their recyclables to buy-back exactly in the same way they clip coupons from the junk mail you get every week in your mailbox. People of this state still believe that returning recyclables is an important contribution to society especially if they don't want to pay for a blue bin. Think about it.

Pay $27.55 per month for black/blue/green bins plus the cost of the product that came in the container or get $10 bucks back for the same amount in instant rebates. It's a no-brainer. Curbside bins are for those folks who can afford it.

And, even at a 1/2 mile away, with an overweight society, we can all use the exercise. More than 75% of the people who use the HANC Recycling Center are *not homeless*.

Plus, it is a wonderful lesson we need to continue to teach our kids in this age of climate change. It's responsible environmentalism.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

Bruce, There's a reasonable argument to be made that recycling is a cultural cliche that we use to make ourselves feel better about living as consumer serfs, as we do. For every barrel of beer bottles you take in, fifteen or twenty corresponding units of solid and chemical waste never come into our sight yet still result in unsustainable damage to Earth
Let's shake off the Goebbels-like fantasy of recycling as amounting to anything other than the make-work sedative that it is. The world cannot wait for those folks who drive up in cars with their micro-brew bottles and wait for a few coins to get with it.
Good luck to you. I hope the NIMBY's eat shit.

Posted by Ed Bradd on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

Thanks, Joe. You are absolutely correct. Readers can also watch real testimonials of users at http://vimeo.com/14685381
It's quite enjoyable to watch.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

Especially those imposed by state law. That's nice to hear.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

If you are being facetious, let's be fair. We are talking about small, single owner stores not Big Grocery which for the quantity of containers sold should be responsible for taking them back, and not afforded exemptions. If any community recycling is closed and as long as those exemptions on Big Grocery exist where they "prohibit" returning containers, only the small mom-and-pop shops wil bear the burden.

That's not fair.

(Lucretia, if you weren't being facetious, then I'm sure SFBG appreciates your support.)

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

If you are being facetious, let's be fair. We are talking about small, single owner stores not Big Grocery which for the quantity of containers sold should be responsible for taking them back, and not afforded exemptions. If any community recycling is closed and as long as those exemptions on Big Grocery exist where they "prohibit" returning containers, only the small mom-and-pop shops wil bear the burden.

That's not fair.

(Lucretia, if you weren't being facetious, then I'm sure SFBG appreciates your support.)

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

Because Greg Gaar is a San Francisco treasure.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

Not to be taken at face value -- or given any consideration at all -- at any time.

A complete waste of your time. Just think of it as your computer momentarily hanging-up when you encounter one of tortured postings from the fool, and move on.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 01, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

Left out of this story is that Inner Sunset millionairess Andrea Jadwin is using up to a million in park bond funds to put in her elitist "community gardens."

A shameful waste of funds!

But with RPD: what is not!

Posted by Richard on Dec. 02, 2012 @ 9:50 am

The idea behind this article is excellent, and for me the first item is the real gem here: most of the people spend their entire lives only consuming what is created by others, and creating nothing themselves--or never sharing what they create, which is better than not creating at all, though not the best they could do.

Posted by write my paper on Dec. 03, 2012 @ 7:29 am

I gotta be honest, I live in the Upper Haight and homeless guys go through my recycling bins every week. In the ten years I've lived here, they've only left a mess twice.

Just my experience.

Posted by Snoozers on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 8:33 am

I'm loling at "the eviction caught him flat-footed". Has Ed Dunn been asleep for the last five years?

Posted by Erik on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 8:50 am

HANC assumed residence on a temporary basis when it moved in years ago (1970s?). It was aware all along that its situation was temporary.

~~~~~~~~~~~
As to the actual sequence of recycling, here's what happens in other parts of town:
- Shopping-cart scavengers skim recyclables from blue bins.
- They take them to a predetermined corner where a tender awaits their deliveries.
- The driver pays the shopping cart guys less than he'll get for the recyclables at HANC.
- The driver then re-recycles his tender load at HANC for the full amount.

Posted by CRS on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

Your bullet point story is inaccurate. Folks in other parts of town don't necessarily go to HANC -- there are recycling centers in grocery stores all over the city, as well as a full featured recycling center in Hunter's Point. HANC serves the Haight, Haight businesses, and the Haight neighborhood.

Posted by Joe Fitzgerald on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

Lets just admit this isn't about how recycling laws need updating. No one is proposing to revise the CA recycling laws. Admit its not about the outmoded nature of recycling facilities, now that complain about the center on Market and Buchanan, for example. Just HANC. And if HANC is such a misuse of park space, why no complaints about the parking lot on GGP land, on Lincoln right down the street from HANC? And , you all wringing your hands about recycling buyback promoting drugs, how many of you drink and/or smoke weed regularly? Dont kid yourself, rich people just have enough money to do drugs indoors, so its socially acceptable. The problem is marginalized, black, brown and poor, people just being anywhere in your neighborhood, where generally white property owners/yuppies/greedy people think they dont belong.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

Industry is banned on GGPark; parking is not.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2013 @ 5:34 pm