Ocean Beach Sustainability 101: Reduce, Recycle, Re-use, Repurpose—and Repeat!

by on January 25, 2011 · 5 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

No one in OB does this ... yet, but we liked the concept and image.

by Terrie Leigh Relf

While the mantra of ‘reduce, recycle, re-use, repurpose’ may be familiar, individual experience varies. Yes, it is important to dispose of your glass and plastic bottles, as well as other obvious recyclables, in the blue bins. Yes, creating a home-based compost bin is also an excellent practice. . .and yes, donating your working refrigerator to a neighbor or local charity rather than dumping it at the Miramar Landfill also makes a positive impact.

But there is so much more to the practice of “Reduce, Recycle, Re-use, Repurpose and Repeat!” than this, isn’t there?

This is the first installment of an ongoing series that will address a variety of issues related to the multi-faceted topic of sustainability. If you, or someone you know, is actively engaged in any one or more facets of a Reduce, Recycle, Re-use, Repurpose—and Repeat! project, is in search of somewhere to donate or exchange goods or services, please contact me at tlrelf@cox.net.

Saffran Packaging

In addition to being a packing peanut recycling center for over four years, this community service nexus also recycles plastic bubble wrap. In the near future, they will be recycling batteries and other items.

The “Recycle” page of their website provides general information on plastic loosefill, including information on the Plastic Loosefill Council. Contact The Peanut Hotline by phoning 800-828-2214, or visit their website at loosefillpackaging.com for other drop-off sites.

Mike and Lynette Saffran
4876 Santa Monica Ave.
San Diego CA 92107
fax: 619-222-0976

Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM


The OBCentric Gift Shop

Located within Saffran Packaging, OBCentric is a unique gift shop that features work by local artists, many of whom work with recycled materials. One such artist, according to Creative Arts Director, Danielle Eder, is Midori. Her line of objects d’art, Refresh, is created from recycled paper, and includes decorative notebooks, coasters, and bowls.

In addition to the gift shop, OBCentric is also home to the Clothing Exchange Program, which began approximately one year ago. To date, there have been seven clothing exchanges and thousands of pounds of clothing have been donated to area women’s shelters such as Rachel’s House. Recently, they also made a donation to the Pioneer Day School’s clothing drive.

According to Eder, the next eagerly anticipated clothing exchange will take place sometime in February. In addition to women’s clothing, they are also interested in receiving men’s, teen’s, children’s, and infant’s. The event is $10.00 per person at the door, which includes the first beverage. It’s an all-ages-and-genders-family-and-dog-friendly event with do-it-yourself workshops, entertainment, and a bonfire! After the event, any remaining items will be donated. Please visit their website at www.obcentricstore.com for event notices and other news, or stop by Saffran Packaging to sign up for their newsletter.

It’s the same folks, address, phone, and hours as Saffran Packaging.

Computer Guy Services: Computer Repair and Internet Café

Three brothers, Don, Dave, and Barry Hinrichs, own and operate this local MAC-and-PC-friendly business that provides an extensive and impressive menu of products and services. In addition to their Internet Café, they also house a laptop lounge with WIFI access. Patrons may purchase coffee and snacks or bring in their own. They can also make copies, print, fax, and scan documents at this user-friendly business. They sell both new and used computers, computer parts, accessories, and software. According to Don Hinrichs, they receive “lots of travelers from the International Hostel, and just people in general.”

Another great draw of Computer Guy Services is that they provide a no-fee computer recycling service. According to Don Hinrichs, they are not able to recycle or re-use all computers or parts, but in most cases, they can. “What it is and how old it is” makes a difference. “We can recycle most desktop and laptop computers with Windows XP or newer. No CRT monitors, but flat panels are okay. Much, too, depends upon the condition.” Furthermore, they prefer “salvageable material to refurbish and re-sell.” If the computer and its parts can’t be re-used, then they dispose of it at Recycle San Diego.

“We like to see things being recycled and reused instead of just thrown in the trash,” Don Hinrichs said, then added that customers “may even be able to trade them in toward a new computer or toward services—even cash.” Their prices are competitive, and they “try to keep prices lower than the major competition, like Best Buy, and to provide better services through personal attention.”

Another much-appreciated service is offered to computer repair customers: unlimited internet café access. This is particularly helpful to stay on top of personal, educational, and/or business needs while waiting for a repair.

Other services include tutoring, consulting, and general assistance—including home theater set-ups. In-house sessions are set up in 1/2-hr increments at $34.95, or $69.95 hr; on-site appointments are $119.95 for the first hour, then $79.95 for ensuing hours. This is a steal, according to Don Hinrichs, when comparing to Best Buy Geek Squad, who charge a minimum of $150.00hr. Furthermore, he adds that “we notice people are looking for re-furbished and re-used computers in this neighborhood. We look for ways to fix older machines so they’re as good as new—for a lot less than our competitors!”

Computer Guy is officially closed on the weekend, when they work on computers, make in-home or other off-site business appointments. Since they do understand that people have unique schedules, they’re available for appointments during day, evening, and weekend hours.

Computer Guy Services
4870 Santa Monica ave., Suite 1B
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 222-TECH
(619) 222-8324


Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Weekends by appointment

The San Diego City’s Environmental Services Program

The Parks & Recreation Recycling Program’s “2008/2009 City of San Diego Residential Recylcing Guide” can be obtained from their website in a downloadable PDF pamphlet. In addition to providing information on various types of recycling sites throughout the county, the pamphlet also contains information on what can be disposed of in the blue curbside containers as well as other pertinent information.

When materials such as paper and bottles are recycled at one of Ocean Beach’s two Parks & Recreation Program sites, these materials are then sold and the funds remain local.

Ocean Beach Recreation Center
4726 Santa Monica Ave. 92107

Robb Field Recreation Center
2525 Bacon St., 92107

San Diego City’s Environmental Services Department website , contains resources as well as programs for both residential and commercial recycling. References and resources include information on the Miramar Landfill, where to dispose of hazardous materials, as well as where to obtain free mulch for your garden. City ordinances are listed here as well as news updates and status reports on energy and conservation

In the spirit of donating rather than dumping, the San Diego City’s Environmental Services provides resources for donating items that may be resused, or repurposed, such as the California Materials Exchange, or CalMAX, (available at www.ciwmb), Craigslist.org, San Diego Freecycle (available at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/SDFreecycle/), or Bargainlink (available at www.bargainlink.com/). Their information line is 858-694-7000. You may also visit them online at www.sandiego.gov/environmentalservices.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

RB January 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

You can recycle anything you no longer want at San Diego Recycle, a city wide Yahoo user group. The big benefit of this program is the daily emails to members to help find or dispose of items in one giant local recycling site. They also give the area of the county were the item is being offered.
And for some strange reason it is fun each day to see what people are offering for free.


Sunshine January 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

great first article in a series. so much we can do at each turn to improve our consumption and reuse of materials.

here’s something i practice on an ongoing basis….if you or a neighbor is moving and can’t take potted plants, make sure they find a good home instead of leaving them to die of thirst or neglect. there are many, many people along Voltaire that practice that street’s namesake quotation “we must cultivate our gardens.” and that includes abandoned potted plants. want to drop em off? contact me thru the OBRag and we’ll work it out.


editordude January 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This just in:
Come play with us tonight at Obcentric at Open Mic Night & Poetry Night (without the mic)… 7-9pm… We’ll be out back around the bonfire pit, so dress warm, bring a blanket, bring your instruments, your voices, your friends, whatever to drink & come play with us… Gotta love it.

We host open mic night & poetry night every last tuesday of the month, so don’t be shy…

call for questions 619.222.4876

hope your day is an epic one,
danielle & the rest of the ob crew


tlrelf January 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Thank you for the responses. . .I’ll check out that site more regularly. It is cool to see what people are giving away.

I’ll be at the open mic tonight. It’s great Chris Vannoy, an old pal, has a new venue–and at OBcentric. Let’s reuse, recycle and refurbish our words. . .hehe



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