Posts tagged ‘christina olague’

Rally to Keep Recycling in SF!


Sponsored by: Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council


ATTENTION: Small Business Owners, Community Gardeners, Urban Agriculture Activists, Chinese Community Representatives, HANC Recycling and Kezar Gardens Center Advocates and others with a vested stake in Zero Waste, Small Business, Urban Agriculture, and Environmental Legacy in San Francisco.

Bring your support to the steps of City Hall this Tuesday and demand that Mayor Lee take responsibility for the negative impacts set to occur once Haight Ashbury Recycling center is evicted.   We need people, signs, and voices to be heard to achieve the following goals.

  • Retain HANC recycling and Kezar Gardens Center within the Convenience Zone it serves
  • Issue a Hold on Eviction until a Task Force can determine best course of action for all parties
  • Prevent Small Business from Footing the Bill for NIMBY politics
  • Preserve the sustainable economic model: recycling = green jobs + native plants + community gardens in one space
  • Preserve 51 community garden beds and their 100 gardeners
  • Create a task force to find a suitable location to house this important ecology center
  • Reinstate the citizen advisory board to advise Recreation and Park on plans to build a new garden with taxpayer money.

We gather to call attention to a mounting crisis for San Francisco small businesses, consumers and gardens alike. The system for taking back bottles and cans for California Redemption Value (CRV) is broken and may be on the verge of collapse.

The California State Bottle bill requires small markets in the City to accept recycling (bottles and cans) in store if there is no supermarket or recycling center nearby. Stores of any size may opt out of this requirement by paying a $100 a day in lieu fee. While this may not be much for a large grocery store, smaller establishments will be hard pressed to pay it.

Impacts on Small Grocers [or Markets] and Beverage Stores

  • All small stores that sell beverage containers with a CRV deposit must also take those containers back
  • If there is a recycling center nearby or a larger grocery store with recycling services, the store becomes exempt.
  • When HANC recycling and Kezar Gardens closes, there will be no recycling in the area
  • Big Business (Whole Foods) will afford the fee and small business will have to pay up or accept recycling in their stores.
  • The fee is $100/day and up to $36K per year.

Need for Recycling Centers

  • The Small Business Commission is holding hearings to discuss the shortage of recycling in the city now
  • Suspending recycling services in the area will have a negative impact on recycling rates-50% of recycling in SF goes through a recycling center
  • Without a local recycling center, all small businesses will pay high fees or have to accept recycling in store

The existing recycling centers in SF are well utilized but dwindling in numbers. Numbering 30 in 1990, now there are only 21. Statewide, there is one recycling center for every 18,000 residents while there is only one for every 38,000 San Franciscans. Recycling centers in the City receive half of all CRV bottles and cans recycled.

Of the 21 recycling centers in the City, only about 12 are conveniently located at neighborhood supermarkets or nearby. The rest are hard to get to or only consist of reverse vending machines that slowly receive bottles and cans one at a time. As a result long lines are the norm at most City recycling centers.

The City’s eviction of HANC sets a terrible example for supermarkets. HANC has served the Inner Richmond, Inner Sunset and Haight-Ashbury Bottle Bill requirements since the law went into effect in 1987. Other recycling centers are rumored for shut down in the near future, following the lead of the City. The HANC eviction will have a domino effect leaving thousands of San Franciscans and hundreds of stores without a place to recycle.

The Mayor needs to address this crisis now by placing the HANC eviction on hold while a task force is appointed to develop and implement solutions.

HANC recycling has also been a longtime advocate for urban agriculture and habitat restoration.  The money that is generated from recycling pays for green jobs with health insurance as well as a decade old San Francisco Native Plant Nursery.  When HANC learned of the plan to create a community garden in the space, it immediately met the need creating Kezar Gardens, a 51-plot community garden program.  There are currently 100 gardeners who will lose their plots in the event of an eviction.  The Recreation and Park Department has no plan to retain or relocate those gardens or those gardeners.  We demand that the citizen advisory council that was created to advise Recreation and Park on the use of the space be reinstated.  This group should be tasked with the fate of the current gardeners, if they cannot be relocated elsewhere.

There is no other model in the city of San Francisco that demonstrates how recycling contributes to jobs that restore the earth and community programs that educate, celebrate and nurture organic food growth, community health, and an integrated approach to taking environmental action in one half acre of land.


Olague on Sit/Lie and Urban Agriculture Events

Stop by Kezar Gardens Mon-Sat from 9-4pm or Sun from 12-4 and talk to Greg about taking home some SF native plants for FREE!  Limit 5 per person.  Plants include Yarrow, Douglas Iris, Native Grasses, Gum Plant, Coastal Buckwheat, Pink Currant, and more!
Aguilegia Formosa
TUESDAY: Aug 14th, 6pm-8pm, Happiness Institute 1720 Market St. (btw Octavia & Gough)

SF Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA) August Social Potluck

Every couple of months, we take a break from meeting agendas to do an awesome potluck and get to hang out with all the fantastic SFUAA members. That’s happening THIS TUESDAY!
Actually, we will have 1 exciting discussion item: Bill Barnes and his intern Amy from the City Administrator’s Office will be joining us to talk about the recently passed urban ag legislation, and answer our questions about next steps. Yay!


SIT/LIE Discussion

District Five Supervisor Christina Olague will hold a community discussion on the recent policy implementation of the SIT/LIE ordinance.  Come out to the Library to connect with others in the area about how SIT/LIE has affected them since it became a law.  Be heard and listen to the voices of others this Wednesday night.  Supervisor Olague will be in attendance to share her thoughts and hear yours.  Free to attend!

Local stand-up comedian, Nato Green, opines about the issue in a recent show.  His views are absolutely his own and do not represent Supervisor Olague or Kezar Gardens but give some insight into the type of debate going on around this policy.  Check out the video below and get a giggle by the way he reasons through the sit/lie policy in his head and graciously shares it with us all.



Get your hands dirty in our community garden and native plant nursery.  Join a group of local gardeners who collaborate to beautify the space, work in communal gardens, as well as share harvests and tips on a healthy gardening.  The workday is a potluck, where everyone brings a little something to share.  It also includes an informal meeting to discuss issues current and imminent to the garden group.  There is no cost to attend and everyone is welcome!

Chronicle Columnist gets facts wrong


CW Nevius came out with a new article antagonizing  the efforts of the Kezar Gardens Ecology Center on Thursday.  Perhaps, if one were to read only the first and last lines of the piece, it could be considered accurate, but everything in between is highly questionable in terms of its precision.  We were lucky to get a tape recording of the interview between Nevius and Ed Dunn, recycling center director.

Tuesday morning, Chronicle photographer, Lea Suzuki, spent hours in the yard photographing recyclers and gardeners for the piece Nevius was writing this week.  She encouraged Nevius to come by as well to see the changes and talk to the energetic chief of staff, Ed Dunn.  And, to his credit, Nevius came by Tuesday afternoon and talked recycling center politics with Ed.  He let us tape him and did not hold back on his vehement opposition to the center, however, he seemed to be quite misinformed and uninterested in setting the record straight.

So, we waited to see what he would come up with.  What we got was an emotional article filled with inaccuracies and completely ignoring or failing to research many of the issues presented to him that day.  In response, we have put together a short video detailing the difference between his report and what actually transpired.  The major points we dispute in the video are:

1. The Native Plant garden was a “last ditch effort” to prevent an eviction

Greg Gaar began gardens at the site about a dozen years ago.  He has planted an acre of grounds in native plants surrounding the center and continues to develop and contribute to effective restoration projects all over the city including the Green Hairstreek Butterfly project on Golden Gate Heights.

2. The salaries are too high and no one wanted to show him the books.

Simple math demonstrated in the video refutes that along with an offer to look at the accounting that Nevius does not choose partake in.  The average salary with benefits for a staff member at HANC is approximately 36K and includes health care.

3.  Reference to the Golden Gate Master Plan as proof of non-conforming use.

Nevius was informed about the County General Plan that does allow for a public service that is hard to locate and cannot be located elsewhere to exist on parkland- he made no reference to this in his article.  Also, at this point, no other site on the west side of SF has been identified for HANC to relocate to.

4. Nobody wants us.  City Hall hates HANC.

In Feb 2011, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in favor of HANC recycling center, they demanded  that the City work in GOOD FAITH with the center on this issue.  There are also over 100 community gardeners as well as local recyclers that patronize the space everyday. Check out our other blogs detailing the visits of D5 Supe Christina Olague and Homeless Advocate Bevan Dufty, each having an extremely positive reaction to the site.

Take a few moments to see for yourself.  And take a gander at the Nevius article through the link below as well as HANC’s 990, it’s all public.  It’s certainly not news that we have opponents in this struggle but we must be vigilant about reporting the facts to the best of our knowledge and holding this reporter to the same virtue.

Nevius Article


Pets with Pride lobby Mayor Ed Lee to save recycling in GGP

Puppies in favor of Recycling!

Since our last post with Piper, the puppy, on Bevan Dufty’s “WOOF” plan was so popular, we bring you double the trouble today.  Puppy Piper and her Auntie Molly are both huge fans of the recycling center at Kezar.  They show their pride in today’s new video.  Auntie Molly also got the chance to meet Mayor Ed Lee at last year’s take pride in your pets day.  We are pretty sure she politely woofed away at the Mayor, lobbying support for the recycling center in Golden Gate Park.   So proud!



Last Saturday, District Five Supervisor Christina Olague, stopped by Kezar Gardens Ecology Center for the first time.  A long-time supporter, Olague still had not seen for herself what this space has to offer.  During her visit, she talked about good San Francisco values, green jobs and the highly questionable act of closing a place that exemplifies the best of those ideals.  She readily acknowledged the hugely diverse patrons who use the space and even asked for a garden plot of her own as a form of protest against the impending eviction.

The Supervisor was amazed at the 50 community garden plots thriving with native plants, organic veggies, and astounding wildflowers.  She was impressed by the extension of habitat restoration taking place from the native plant nursery and was ecstatic over the people who were utilizing the center while she was there.  No longer willing to stay quiet about the absolute inequity of closing down such a valuable space, the Supervisor staked her claim with the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council and their recycling center and gardens at 780 Frederick Street.

We hope her support will help convince Mayor Lee to overturn this hateful eviction order and allow Kezar Gardens Ecology Center to continue serving the local community with their ecological needs.  As Supervisor Olague classifies, it’s a battle between good and evil.  It’s time to decide-which side are you on?  Save Kezar Gardens!