Recycling center supporters rally at SF City Hall

(KGO)

December 11, 2012 6:06:44 PM PST
Time has run out for a controversial recycling center in San Francisco. As supporters are desperately trying to save it, those who want it out of Golden Gate Park are now waiting for the city's sheriff to carry out a court-ordered eviction.

The center has been operating at the park for more than 30 years, but the lease is up for the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council's recycling center known as "HANC." The city's Recreation and Parks Department wants to put a community garden in the location where the recycling center is near Kezar Stadium. They say that's more compatible with the setting.

"An industrial recycling center is not the best use of park property," Sarah Ballard with the Rec and Parks Department told ABC7 News. The city's Recreation and Park Department has been trying since 1996 to oust the center which some in the surrounding neighborhood say has been a magnet for the homeless. "It's kind of created a revolving circle where people are going in there, basically recycling, making their money, and then after that going immediately to the liquor stores and or basically buying drugs off the street," said Kent Uyehara with the Haight-Ashbury Merchant's Association.

However, families also use the center. "Oh I think this is a wonderful place. It's very convenient for the neighborhood," Cynthia Kane said. HANC's supporters are refusing to obey an eviction notice they received two weeks ago and gathered at City Hall Tuesday hoping for a last-minute reprieve. "With the closure of HANC recycling, it's really going to blow a hole in the middle of San Francisco's recycling system," HANC Director Ed Dunn told the crowd.

They took their battle all the way to the state Supreme Court and lost. Now, many are wondering when the sheriff will carry out the eviction. "We are confident that that eviction will occur by the end of the first week in January," said Mark Nicco with the sheriff's department.


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