Posts tagged ‘green jobs’

Buyback Recycling Ends at HANC, along with an Era of Progressive Thinking


Saturday, December 29th was the last day to get your deposit back on bottles and cans at 780 Frederick Street.  Today, the center is open from 12-4 for donated recycling and community gathering.  We are working on a plan to relocate as many willing gardeners to new locations in San Francisco and donate the remaining resources to other urban agriculture projects.

The video documents some of the last ever buyback recyclers at the center including myself.  We were able to collect a wide variety of stories from people who came by, a few are in today’s video and others will turn up later in the documentary, 780 Frederick.

It seemed to be therapeutic to have the camera there.  Ed Dunn, Executive Director of HANC, dubbed it the “video shrink”.  Maybe it was helpful to talk about the loss we were all experiencing amidst the chaos of breaking down over thirty years worth of environmentally based community programs.  It felt historic and certainly it signaled the end of very definite progressive era in San Francisco.

Come say hello, come say goodbye, bring your last bits of cardboard, foil, plastic, paper, and glass.  We will be there documenting it all, sharing our stories, our sadness and our plans for the future.  See you there.


Jake Sigg of Nature News,a well renowned environmentalist, had these recent words to say about HANC’s work:

I have been emotionally divided about this issue all along.  I can’t deny that the recycle center is a non-conforming use of Golden Gate Park.  However, I feel a fierce loyalty to HANC for all its pioneering work and community service.  If there were such a thing as a city that knows how (all cities verge on dysfunction now) the City would find a way to accommodate and reward HANC for all it has done for us.  But that would require leadership.
HANC made a preemptive strike and converted the center to a community garden, and it is functioning beautifully now.  RecPark plans to rip up the asphalt, and all the raised garden beds, plants and all.  As a conservative I hate to see this:  All those beautiful, functioning garden beds, the materials (soil and wood), and last but not least–people’s (including HANC’s) emotional investment–these are all things to be respected and treasured.



Thursday night the Massachusetts Legislature made a decisive move.  They added the expansion of the bottle bill to the Jobs Bill, linking recycling incentives to economic success in the state.  This has been an ongoing debate in Massachusetts for over a decade and now it may become a new reality.  The current bottle bill does not cover juice, ice tea or water bottles and the expansion seeks to make those beverages part of the 5 cent redemption program.  Opposition to plan comes largely from beverage companies who feel curbside service is enough to recycle.  So, in Massachusetts, if you’re against the expanded bottle bill, you are hanging out with big business.

The link below leads to an article from today’s Patriot Ledger that details this battle for the bottle bill.  The video link above lets you see the bottle bill advocates in action, making their cause to the people in June 2012 with hopes of what happened yesterday in the legislature.

Only 11 states in the US have bottle bill legislation currently in place.  California is poised to be the model of sustainability for the entire country, especially with such strong recycling rates as those in our city of San Francisco.  Hopefully we can  lead the charge to continue incentives that encourage more people to reduce, reuse and RECYCLE.   The more options, incentives and government support we have to make zero waste a national reality, the better off our country will be.  And, to think we can do that from the ground up, five cents at a time, with the help of each individual, big or small, rich or poor, is pretty inspiring.  Help keep the bottle bill in action by supporting unique initiatives like those at Kezar Gardens Ecology Center and know you are making a difference to environmental movements across this great country.

US or Them?


Community members gathered at the monthly HANC member meeting to discuss the future of Urban Agriculture in San Francisco and the impending eviction of Kezar Gardens Ecology Center.  Representatives from OCCUPY Gill Tract, Hayes Valley Farm and the Free Farm Stand presented information on their struggles and heard ours.   People spoke frankly about the NIMBY politics of shutting down our recycling center.   The overwhelming and unchecked power the Recreation and Parks Department is seeming to have an negative impact on many people in our city and it’s time to get the word out.