Archive for May, 2012

Around the garden…no CASH value


It is not unheard of for a recycling fiend to pop the top of every tin can they find and squirrel it away for a grand reward.  Pop-top recycling is actually an urban myth.  At Kezar Eco Center, the recycling department often encounters hopeful patrons with multiple two liters full of pop tops.  The staff always disappoints when they break the news, those tops you popped were just for fun, no CASH value.

So, the pop top joins the ranks of the discarded book, the half used paints, the old party straws and all the other no CASH value things left behind for someone else to find.  Today, we collected some of those items: a flamingo straw top, old acrylic paints, some fine paper, dried poppy petals and a pop-top and made them into a short animation, just for fun, no CASH value.


Things U Shouldn’t Say to a Reverse Vending Machine


There is a new game in town on the recycling front.  At the Inner Richmond Safeway, near Golden Gate Park, at 7th Avenue and Cabrillo Street, the reverse vending machine is being tested out.  This machine was once proposed to be a replacement for places like community recycling centers and it was said that dozens of these types of machines could do what community recycling at Kezar does.  However, upon observation, there are many things this machine does not have to offer.


The reverse vending machine ONLY takes CRV (cash redemption) containers, and nothing too big, please.

ONLY one container can be inserted at a time.

The machine will not accept crushed cans or bottles (KEZAR does).  On my last visit, I saw a homeless woman try to recycle her large bag of goods, only to walk away with half the bag rejected after trying for 40 minutes.

Do not try to recycled mixed paper, cardboard, or any oversized items at the machine.

There is no compost or garden like component at the machine.

The machine is ONLY for particular, well kept, bottles and cans, that have a CRV deposit.  No milk jugs, no wine bottles, no tin foil, no, no, no, no.


Reverse vending seems like it would be a great service for people who don’t have a lot to recycle and can build it into their regular shopping at Safeway.  People with large amounts of CRV or a variety of recycling needs will find long waits at the machine and, often, that it does not serve the entirity of their needs or even gives them credit for all their stuff.  As part of a whole, the reverse vending machine seems complimentary to community recycling and curbside service, but is hardly a stand alone system.

HAPPY Memorial Day-Red White & Blue Flower Power

Ode to International Orange: Flowers for Golden Gate Bridge


The Golden Gate Bridge is 3/4ths of a century old this weekend.  We photographed these wonderfully orange flowers around Kezar Gardens Ecology Center in honor of our most fashionable local bridge.  Most people don’t know that the bridge was not originally supposed to turn out quite the color it did.  Any trivia buff or San Francisco resident can probably tell you the official color of the Golden Gate Bridge is hardly golden, rather a unique and bright concoction titled ‘International Orange’.  But a true historian reminds us that, in fact, the idea of being ‘Golden’ was considered, floated by the Navy at the time.  They wanted the bridge painted golden yellow and black stripes for increased visibility.  Can you just imagine?

Avoid JUNE Gloom with Events, Hearings and Fairs!

JUNE 3rd, 2012 12-4pm

780 Frederick Street


BBQ Potluck, Garden Development Meeting and workday!

Kick off June by finding your bliss at the garden and sharing it with your fellow man via food, drink and mulch mulch more.  Bring something to plant, eat and share, come with ideas about how to improve the garden site, and your weekend calendar so we can schedule community work days for the rest of the summer season!

JUNE 6th, 2012 9am

350 McAllister Street, ROOM TBA


Fight the depression head on by supporting Kezar Gardens in court.  The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council goes downtown to have their appeals heard on the eviction of the Ecology Center.  Oral arguments take place Wednesday morning in the 1st District Court of Appeals in front of a three judge panel.  Go HANC.

JUNE 10, 2012 11-6pm

Upper Haight Street


Get your groove on all the way down Haight Street and stop by the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Booth while you are at it.  Kezar Gardens will have a larger than life native plant photo booth and take your picture for free.  Bands, merchants, and restaurateurs all take part in this annual street fair.

Memorial Day Mini Irrigation Keg

One community gardener fashions an irrigation “keg” system for his plants-just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

Mini Irrigation Keg Recipe

(please note, it is important with a primitive system like this that the water be above the irrigated land so gravity can do its business and that the tubing be loose, clear from blockages and in a natural slightly curled position.)

1-community garden blot

1-medium sized bucket

1-water spigot

10ft-irrigation tubing

1-medium sized box or stand

rocks, bungee cords, bamboo sticks

couple hours of your time 🙂

Further inspection reveals delicate tubing with interspersed notches that release water a drop at a time.

Complete the installation with a light colored wind wall.

No worries while you are away for Memorial Day!

Portrait of a Recycler


Herman Yee comes by the center to recycle every couple of months.  He has curbside at his apartment but prefers to collect his own stuff and bring it in on his bike.  We asked him one day what he thinks about the place.  Watch this interview  as he talks through some of the issues we face trying to keep this community space open every day.

Do you think recycling should be in recreational areas?  How about native plants and vegetable gardening?  Where is the best space for a center that offers these experiences to to a community?

Personally, I think it’s fine just where it is. What does Herman think?