More recycling fallout

Small businesses gird for high fees after HANC closure

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Losing the HANC reyling center will hurt Haight Street businesses

The unintended consequences of closing the Haight Ashbury's only recycling center are about to ripple through small businesses in the neighborhood. As the recycling center's final days loom, merchants are gearing up to face new fees — as much as $100 a day.

But they may get a reprieve sooner than they think.

State law requires stores that sell beverages in cans and bottles to take them back for recycling -- unless there's a functioning recycling center within a half-mile radius.

With the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council recycling center gone, Whole Foods supermarket, the largest purveyor of beverages on Haight Street, will be faced with a decision — provide bottle and can buy-back services, or pay a $100 a day fee instead. If Whole Foods decides to pay the fee and not provide recycling in the area, small businesses in the Haight will be forced to make the same choice -- only they won't be able to afford the $36,500 a year fee.

San Francisco's Department of the Environment doesn't enforce those fees, but does provide oversight on recycling in San Francisco. Guillermo Rodriguez, spokesperson for the department, said that his office is in the planning stages of creating a mobile recycling center, which could roll out in early 2013.

"Certainly it's not in our interest to have those businesses pack up and move out," Rodriguez said. The mobile recycling center gives the neighborhood a new option.

If a recycling center serves the Haight neighborhood, the small businesses in the area could avoid paying the steep fees, and from having to go through the trouble of seeking exemption.

"Its similar to food trucks," Rodriguez said. "After they finish for the day, they leave. But they'd set up at a usual time in a usual spot."

San Francisco Supervisor Christina Olague, whose district includes the Haight Ashbury, said she was working on a way for HANC to turn into a mobile recycling center. Though she said that those talks had since stalled, Rodriguez said that if HANC wanted to be a partner in the new mobile center, the Department of the Environment would be open to it.

Why does the state of California expect small businesses to provide a can and bottle buy-back program on site, or face fees in the first place?

Rodriguez explained that the laws weren't necessarily made with San Francisco in mind.

"When the rules were drafted, San Francisco was the exception, as we are for a lot of things," Rodriguez told us. "The law was written for the suburbs, where small businesses generally have parking lots where recycling can easily be handled."

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks department has long pushed for the Haight recycling center's ouster. Sarah Ballard, spokesperson for the department, said the recycling fees and regulations that will hit local businesses aren't Rec-Park's problem.

"HANC has been on a month to month lease for over a decade," she said. "The Parks Department have never sought to stop them from seeking non-park property to continue to run their business."

Basically, HANC can operate wherever it wants to — just not in Golden Gate Park. And there aren't a whole lot of other low-cost open spaces where the center can set up shop.

Small businesses we've talked to say they don't have the space, staff, or ability to handle buying back recyclables. Fred Kazzouh, owner of "Fred's New Lite Supermarket" on Haight and Masonic streets, doubted he'd get a reprieve from the fee.

"I mean if we all apply for an exemption, there'll be half a mile radius without a recycling center," Kazzouh said. "I saw recycling centers on Safeway on Webster (street) and I don't see why Whole Foods can't do it."

Kazzouh's store has been in the Haight neighborhood since 1995. The Haight has long been known as a place that draws alternative people, he said. And that's the way he likes it.

Comments

So it's reasonable to assume that voting to bail out Ross did net harm to Olague. How much is hard to say, of course. But in her precarious position, it was a risk that she took and it backfired.

But yeah, Breed would probably have won anyway as she was a stronger and more attractive candidate. And of course it helped further that Davis got Ross'ed as well. Or rather, he Ross'ed himself.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

The last poll, the push poll funded by the DV mavens, showed D5 voters mixed on the subject, so given that the methodology -- i.e. timing and leading questions,etc. -- of the poll was flawed, there is *no* valid reason to assume Olagues vote was anything but a positive for her.

Earlier polls were not only of highly questionable methodology -- or existance, for that matter -- but took place prior to Eliana Lopez testimony before the Ethics Commission.

Also remember: London Breed expressed the opinion that Lee's attempt to remove Ross was political and that if she was on the board she would vote against the move.

Olaque might have done better if she'd voted with the mayor, but if so only because her honest and correct vote drew down upon her the monied wrath of Ron Cowan.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 2:06 pm
Posted by anonymous on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

when more liberal people are out having fun; by "honest poll" I mean a poll in which no prejudicial language is incorporated in the questions such as the one in the DV maven's poll which asked respondants to choose among supplied reasons why Ross should have been removed from office without offering any choices for reasons why not to remove him.

The poll was bullshit and all references to the poll as though it carries any weight are bullshit.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 5:08 pm
Posted by anonymous on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

That's the difference between us. You have cited a poll which is provably flawed repeatedly because it supports your preconceptions and desires. You are guilty of the exact intellectual slovenliness which you ascribe to me.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

are only quibbling about how big the margin of disapproval was/is and not whether it exists.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 28, 2012 @ 7:50 am

One: "Honour thy consumer."
Two: "Proviso I obey the Catechisms, Papa Song loves me; proviso Papa Song loves me, I am happy."
Three: "For servers to keep anything denies Papa Song's love for us and cheats His investment."
Four:
Five:
Six: A fabricant may never exit a dinery as doing so is a wicked deviance against Papa Song and his Investment.
Seven: "A Soul's value is the dollars therein."

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

represent anyone's interests except for all that flows upward through Director Gin$burg, Mark Beull and fellow commissioners, all the up the butt of both recent and current mayors (all lower case because that is what they are, small) to SF staunch social elite (and maybe her husband, Nathan Ballard). Talk about the 1%.

For Ballard to say that she or Rec&Park doesn't care about the vital economy of this city that is run by the plethora of small businesses is utterly insulting, if not disrespectful and irresponsible. People have been fired or transferred to less desireable jobs for less.

It's time to send a real message to Ginburg and his cronies. Find a new job now or wait until November 2014 when this house gets scrubbed clean by some excellent domestic workers.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

represent anyone's interests except for all that flows upward through Director Gin$burg, Mark Beull and fellow commissioners, all the up the butt of both recent and current mayors (all lower case because that is what they are, small) to SF staunch social elite (and maybe her husband, Nathan Ballard). Talk about the 1%.

For Ballard to say that she or Rec&Park doesn't care about the vital economy of this city that is run by the plethora of small businesses is utterly insulting, if not disrespectful and irresponsible. People have been fired or transferred to less desireable jobs for less.

It's time to send a real message to Ginburg and his cronies. Find a new job now or wait until November 2014 when this house gets scrubbed clean by some excellent domestic workers.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

represent anyone's interests except for all that flows upward through Director Gin$burg, Mark Beull and fellow commissioners, all the up the butt of both recent and current mayors (all lower case because that is what they are, small) to SF staunch social elite (and maybe her husband, Nathan Ballard). Talk about the 1%.

For Ballard to say that she or Rec&Park doesn't care about the vital economy of this city that is run by the plethora of small businesses is utterly insulting, if not disrespectful and irresponsible. People have been fired or transferred to less desireable jobs for less.

It's time to send a real message to Ginburg and his cronies. Find a new job now or wait until November 2014 when this house gets scrubbed clean by some excellent domestic workers.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

represent anyone's interests except for all that flows upward through Director Gin$burg, Mark Beull and fellow commissioners, all the up the butt of both recent and current mayors (all lower case because that is what they are, small) to SF staunch social elite (and maybe her husband, Nathan Ballard). Talk about the 1%.

For Ballard to say that she or Rec&Park doesn't care about the vital economy of this city that is run by the plethora of small businesses is utterly insulting, if not disrespectful and irresponsible. People have been fired or transferred to less desireable jobs for less.

It's time to send a real message to Ginburg and his cronies. Find a new job now or wait until November 2014 when this house gets scrubbed clean by some excellent domestic workers.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

In fact, it just looks like you think you have to try a little too hard.

The Park evicted HANC because it's a commercial activity in a Park, AND because it was a hotspot of crime and drugs. It's really not very complicated.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 8:33 am

Yeah, Gin$burg absolutely abhors any commercial activity in the parks, perish the thought of a buck turning in the People's Gardens.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:10 am

Park, and allowing an industrial facility to keep operating when:

1) It's on a month-to-month lease
2) It's a focal point for crime and drugs
3) Kerbside recycling is now fully implemented.

HANC is outdated and it's a public nuisance, which is why it is being evicted. Any extra burden that places on a few local businesses can be handled in the same way that every other business that is not close to HANC currently handles it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:18 am

Point being that commercial activities are encouraged in parks all the time, but only when they pay the piper politically.

There is one set of rules for the City Family and those in good with it, and another set of rules for everyone else.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:38 am

Their landlord can evict with 30 days notice. That it has taken 2 years stuns me but enough is enough.

It's the Park's decision and it's been made. Move on.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:53 am

These rules apply to all of California. Business either have to pay a fee or handle the recycled containers themselves. There is no reason why SF businesses should be exempted from that and, either way, it's certainly not a parks issue anyway.

Business people are resourceful, and are perfectly capable of making the necessary commercial decisions. This is a non-issue.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 8:52 am

in the Haight falls into what you refer to as "the law of unintended consequences," in this case, from the shortsided eviction of a valuable community resource like the HANC recycling center.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:11 am

businesses to make a business decision, but it's no different from the decision that every business in CA has to make that doesn't happen to have something like HANC a few blocks away.

You really cannot blame Parks for wanting to get rid of a commercial enterprise in the Park. If you want someone to blame, blame Sacramanto for passing this requirement in the first place.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:16 am

is a non-starter. What about the boating concession at Stow Lake? And of course, the temporary rental of space for events like Outside Lands. Or the fees charged for the Tea Garden, the DeYoung Museum, the Academy of Sciences building...? I'm sure that there are lots of other examples of the commercial use of Golden Gate Park, but I admit that as a Mission resident, I use the park somewhat infrequently.

The eviction of the HANC recycling center has nothing to do with some sort of fictitious movement towards the decommercialization of Golden Gate Park. If you support the eviction, at least be honest about the reasons for it.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:39 am

Boating lakes, hot dogs stands, charging for the arboretum are all reasonable thigns to have. And industrial facility is not, even if it wasn't encouraging drug deals and petty crime, which it clearly is.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:54 am

Yeah, recycling is only green when Recology can make money off of it, all others need not apply to challenge the monopoly which paid your trash feesto maintain itself this past year.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

I'd like to see alternatives to Recology and to SFWater and to PG&E.

However, HANC is not sustainable. It only washes it's face financially because it had a stupidly cheap lease. There is no economic reason to maintain that any more, but HANC is free to reopen elsewhere if it wants to compete with Recology. I'm all for that - just not on my taxpayer dime.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

instead of the peppercorn rent they've been enjoying for decades. And then let them see how long they could last without a taxpayer-funded crutch?

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

All hail the benevolent market, let us make eternal sacrifice to its divine will!

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

your dickishness knows no bounds

Posted by guest on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

Repent unto the power of the market lest thee shalt surely die!

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

community. He's always willing to take cheap shots but never willing to step up and take real responsibility for anything.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

Ad hominem troll.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 27, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

trying to be nice about it.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 28, 2012 @ 7:51 am

I assume they cut a deal with the sheriff's department to avoid an actual ugly eviction.

They were dismantling it yesterday and, in fact, most of it is already gone, just leaving some planter gargens in acknowledgment of it's new role as a communoity garden.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 12:44 pm
Posted by George E. P.ds on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
Posted by George E. P.ds on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

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