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City to Haight Recycle Center: Go Mobile

A young recycler at HANC
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A young recycler at HANC
The 30-year-old recycling center's eviction seems imminent, but some supervisors support its survival

A long-running recycling redemption center that's being evicted from San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood was told by city officials that it should reinvent itself as a mobile recycling facility or as a vending machine maintenance service.

The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center (HANC) is being evicted from its premises at the eastern end of Golden Gate Park. After the facility is closed, following 30 years of operation, state law would compel Whole Foods and other nearby grocery stores to provide nickels and dimes in exchange for empty bottles and cans, senior city staff said in a new memo.

The parks department says the center should have left the premises last week; attorneys for HANC argue that the center’s lease expires in June and an eviction before then would be illegal.

The Board of Supervisors is poised to vote today to urge the city’s parks department to rescind its eviction of the center, which also operates a native plant nursery. The parkland would be used for community gardens after HANC is evicted.

The eviction notice was sought last year by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is a political enemy of the progressives who run the center. The parks department, which is headed by former Newsom aide Phil Ginsburg, plans to forge ahead with eviction efforts regardless of the outcome of the lawmakers’ vote, according to spokeswoman Sarah Ballard.

“The Board of Supervisors does not have authority over what the Rec and Park Department does with its land,” Ballard said.

The department is preparing to file court documents that, if approved by a judge, would allow it to call on the sheriff’s department to forcibly remove the recycling center from its land. HANC's attorneys are attempting to delay the eviction and its supporters have discussed chaining themselves to the facility to save it from eviction.


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