On September 25th Dan Regan was forced to close his Regan Recycling center behind Rite Aid that he has operated for 15 years.
Regan also operated the one on the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire Street before being forced out by World Oil with high rent.
At the Rite Aid site he was not receiving his handling fee from the State as a CRV center and could no longer stay open. California CRV zones are set up for you to be able to get your 5 to 10 cent deposit back for your beverage containers conveniently and so the beverage retailers don’t have to redeem them in the store.
In my conversation with Dan Regan on Oct 11th he said he was told by the State Cal Recycle rep that he was no longer in a CRV Zone because of Appletree Market’s closure.
My question was, I understood the law to state that all major retailers that do over $2 million a year are required to have a recycling center within a ½ mile radius or they would have to redeem the container in their store or face a $100 a day fine.
Wouldn’t that include all the liquor stores, Rite Aid and Peoples Co-op?
Regan told me that the State said that Rite Aid doesn’t qualify as a grocery store because it does not have meat or produce. I said what does that have to do with beverage containers, which is what CRV recyclers are there for. He questioned that also. Plus Peoples is a grocery store and I believe Olive Tree Market does sell fresh meat and produce.
When I called to speak to a Cal Recycle representative On Oct 11th I spoke to Kassandra. She said they have strict criteria for qualifying as a grocery store. They have to be in the Progressive Grocery Guide. They have to carry produce, perishables, household goods, ect.
I told her that People ‘s carries all of that except they don’t carry meat. They are a full-on grocery store and very popular. I said I talked to Nancy Cassidy the manager and she was going to speak to Marty Block, our state representative. Kassandra was going to call People’s and see if they would meet the criteria.
I also asked her about all the stores that sell beverages and what responsibility they have in having a recycling center. She says they don’t force anyone to have one on their site but they have been notified that they are in an un-served zone and after a certain grace period if there isn’t a recycling center within the ½ mile radius of their business they will have to redeem the containers in the store themselves.
I explained what a hardship this was for many in Ocean Beach. She said they are trying to help him find another space and possible looking in to Stumps Market. She was very nice and she said just because they are in Sacramento she wants people to know that they do care. I have dealt with many government bureaucrats over the years and I felt she was sincere.
Regan has reached out to Kevin Faulconer, Todd Gloria, Donna Frye and others for help. They said they would try to help but it was a state issue. Our State Senator Marty Blocks notified Regan on Oct 10th that he was working on helping him and would try to get an exemption for OB.
Unless there is another unforeseen twist in the law OB doesn’t really need an exemption. People’s and Olive Tree are in the 1/ 2 square mile that is OB and that would put us in a CRV zone. Our State Assemblymember Toni Atkin’s office told me they would be in contact with Marty Block’s on the issue.
An underlying problem here is that the State doesn’t have the money it once had for the CRV program because once the recession hit, people started collecting their 5 cent deposit back when they hadn’t needed it before. That said, the State needs to follow the law and fulfill its obligation to facilitate a recycling center in OB. Many seniors, schools, churches, retired military and people on the street relied on Regan Recycling.
Regan has always kept his Centers clean and well operated. He doesn’t allow shopping carts or intoxication when dealing with the community members who are unfortunately homeless. For those that are happy to see it close because of the help it gave the homeless I would ask you if you really think the people collecting cans are the same ones panhandling or being aggressive. Now you will have more desperate people who may act out.
For those who want to help:
- call Cal Recycle at 1-800-732-9253.
- Call our State Senator Marty Block’s office at 619-645-3133 and
- our State Assemblemember Toni Atkins at 619-645-3090 and encourage and thank them for their help.
- Also call our Councilman Kevin Falconer 619-236-6622 and
- Interim Mayor Todd Gloria 619-236-6633 and encourage them to influence the state.
- Also call our local community groups:
- Ocean Beach Planning Board, check website,
- Ocean Beach Town Council 619-515-4400,
- Ocean Beach Main Street Association 619-224-4906
- and anyone you can think of that could have an influence in getting our recycling center back.
After all this is OB. If we do speak up most of time they will listen.
Update as of 10/31/13 Kassandra called and left a message that unfortunately Peoples Co-op does not qualify but CalRecycle will be looking into the issues of co-ops in the spring.
As of 11/5/13 Dan Regan said he has not heard from the state. He said the grace period for the businesses to have a recycling center in their area is 90 days. After that they will have to pay a $100 a day fee or take the containers in the store themselves. I will try to do further follow-up but please post comments if you obtain any further information.
Collen Dietzel runs the Green Store/ Center and as she also manages a recycling gig, Colleen is probably the top expert on recycling in Ocean Beach.