Haight Ashbury Recycling Center – La-La-La

Updated > SF Citizen has another post on this. There is also now a rebuttal to Nevius posted in the same Chronicle today (one columnist goes after another in the same paper). some more history about the Haight Ashbury Improvement associations involvement with this is on uppercasing blog. This is also covered in the My Garbage Film blog

Chuck Nevious is at it again

It's been five years since the city formally decided that an industrial recycling center was a poor use for Golden Gate Park. Supporters, like site Director Ed Dunn, have debated, cajoled, protested - and in a last-ditch attempt - created a native plants garden.

I can confirm that the Haight Ashbury native plant nursery was not started as a 'last ditch attempt to save the recycling center". I worked there for an entire year in the late 80's and Greg Gaar was trying to get it started even back then. It finally got started in the around 2000. It actually took that long just to get space set aside for it from the Parks Department

CW Nevius didn't mention the video that was recorded while he was at the recycling center this week, via the recycling center's own blog



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.

HANC has also posted their 2010 non profit IRS form 990 on their own website, something that much larger non profits in San Francisco, like Tenderloin Housing Clinic, have refused to do

another quote from Nevious

And yet they stay.

Partly, they've lasted by putting their fingers in their ears and singing, "La-la-la." But they've also hired attorneys, filed lawsuits and appealed the suits that they've lost.

comments from the Nevius column


Yay, more hate from the conservative suburban twit.
Oh its an advise "column" now.
If Recycling Centers are obsolete and cost the city, why then does Recology operate the largest buy back center?
Non conforming use was about commercial pick up, not residential.
The native plant nursery has been there for over fifteen years.
Someday Newsom will stop using shills to spew misinformation.
Ill believe it when i see it.

That 'non conforming' use referred to above is referenced in the Golden Gate Park Objectives and Polices (PDF). This is the exact same section 4.113 of the San Francisco City Charter that is now being used by opponents of the Central Subway construction at Union Square

excerpt from this same Golden Gate Park Objectives and Policies



The one time I used HANC- after a large party, it was efficient, quick and I got enough cash to get a free burrito! If it's turning a profit, paying employees, helping the environment and helping the poor make a few bucks, I can totally see why it makes perfect sense to shut it down.


The GGP Master Plan labeled the site "a non-conforming use" not because of the recycling center; the non-conforming activity seems to be accepting recycling from businesses around town.

"While the recycling center is located on park property, the center's activities should be focused on the recycling needs of Golden Gate Park and the immediate neighborhoods and material collected from other parts of the city should be eliminated." http://sfrecpark.org/documents/ObjectivesAndPolicies.pdf

Reply 1 reply

11:31 PM on July 5, 2012

AFter the Golden Gate Park Master Plan became final (in the 1990s), HANC stopped picking up recycling from other parts of town and limited its activities to local businesses and residents. The Rec and Park Department still has no plan for recycling in Golden Gate Park and depends on "gleaners" who use HANC's recycling center to clear recyclables from Golden Gate Park.


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