I heard that the homeless were causing a problem at the recycling center and that is why it was closed. I tried to find incidents of crime attributed to these people, and was not successful. Homelessness is a problem all over San Diego; it doesn’t matter if there is a recycling center nearby or not.
I also saw a the suggestion made to the community that they would stop shopping at the local market – Stumps – until the center was gone. That only made me shop at Stumps more, and I never had any encounter with a homeless person. Yes, they were there; taking the money that they had received from helping to clean up the environment to purchase food. I was also at Ralphs last week where I saw a homeless person shoplift some food and the manager of the store called the police. Shoplifting is not indigenous to Stumps.
The people of California passed the “Bottle Bill – No. 2020” in 1986. It states that if you charge people for “convenience items” you must provide a “convenient” place to take those items back. Hence the development of recycling centers. (Do you remember taking bottles back to the supermarket to get some change to spend on other goodies? I do.)
While I was in line today, there were seven people ahead of me. Not one of these people was homeless. We all talked to each other and lamented the fact that the nearest recycling center is over by San Diego State College. We talked about how much we would spend on gas to take our recycles there and how little we would be receiving in return.
We brought “Matt” into our conversation. He has worked at the center for two years. I asked him what was going to happen to him after tomorrow, and he said, “I imagine I will have to look for a job.”
I called Mr. Prince and talked to him. I asked him what would happen to Matt, and he told me that not only would Matt lose his job, eight others would also be laid off. He told me that he pays them a decent, living wage, a few dollars more than minimum. We have now added nine other people to the homeless group that the neighbors were so set against.
Prince told me that he was a native of the Point Loma area. His parents, daughter, and siblings live in the area. He said that he is in 100 percent compliance with the city and state laws. For the most part, the area if relatively clean; he doesn’t allow shopping carts, and his main clientele is not the homeless, but members of the community. He told me that he had offered to pay for a full-time security person during the day, but it was not accepted.
This is my own personal opinion but I think the closing of the center is a great loss to conservation. The “convenience zone” that the center had established has helped keep the environment cleaner and has aided in fund-raisers for non-profit organizations; it acted as a method of receiving “pay-back” for being a good citizen.
Ocean Beach/Point Loma needs a place to recycle their items. I, for one, hope that Prince is allowed to bring back his recycling center to the area. The homeless is not a “recycling” problem; the homeless is a “homeless” problem.