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San Francisco Recycling Center Fights Off Eviction

November 29, 2013

By Joe Rosato Jr. : – excerpt

San Francisco recycling center has been fighting an eviction notice from Safeway…

Gregory Thomas wheeled a shopping cart up Market Street – a collection of empty bottles and cans rattling in large sacks.
“Me and the old lady we go out and pretty much five, six nights a week,” Thomas said. “Collect everything.”
Thomas wheeled his bounty into San Francisco Community Recyclers, the non-profit recycling center that has occupied a corner of a Safeway parking lot near Market and Buchanan since 1987. On a good day, Thomas said he could take home $100.
“It pays the bills, it puts food on the table,” Thomas said.
But since the summer, the center has been fighting an eviction notice from Safeway. In a statement, Safeway listed its reason for the eviction as “to improve the quality of the site, make the customer’s experience better, and in response to the community.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of protesters paraded through Safeway’s parking lot, hoisting signs calling for “cans not condos.” Protesters pointed out the recycling center is now flanked by a new Whole Foods, and a high-end condo project under construction.
“We’re seeing as areas get more gentrified and more affluent people moving in,” said Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness, “real estate interests really want to push the presence of poor people out.”
But San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner who supports the eviction, said the issue is not gentrification but the center itself…

“Weiner has suggested the city turn to recycling alternatives, such as reverse vending machines that allow people to cash-in recycled goods for the deposit.”… (more)

Reverse vending machines can be used to replace low-skilled humans with corporate-owned robots. A very tidy future city we can expect since robots require less energy and produce less waste than humans, and if they can talk the corporate landlords into housing their robots in the new stack and pack housing the city can run with a lot less people creating congestion on the public roads and sidewalks. The arrangement might also kill off a lot of service jobs since robots would not be going out to wine and dine and take in the nightlife either.

The city’s goal is to move as many people who don’t live in dense stack and pack housing out so developers can replace single family homes and low-rise apartments with stack and pack housing, and then entice young, anti-car, unmarried bike loving techies to move in. Not that the demographic really exists in the numbers they think it does, but that is the goal.
Everyone who lived through the first two dotcom boom and busts in San Francisco recognizes the pattern well and knows that we are in the midst of the third techie boom which will be followed by a bust, but not before many more of us have left the premises.
People living off the trash of others do not fit the vision of the new world-class San Francisco being built for tomorrow. The verbiage has changed but the methods and results are familiar. Where we once tried to preserve the live music scene in SOMA, we are now trying to preserve the neighborhood character and buildings of historical significance. The gentrification wrecking balls swings ever closer to our homes and a new order of NIMBYs follows in its wake. Residents of historical neighborhoods like the Haight, Castro, and Duboce Triangle, once tolerant of odd lifestyles, now demand removal of the poor and their means of support. Wonder how Harvey Milk would feel about that.

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