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.