Peninsula Planning Board Meeting Focus of Efforts to Save Prince Recycling – Thurs. March 15

by on March 15, 2018 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

Tonight’s Peninsula Planning Board meeting is the focus of efforts by some locals to save Prince Recycling – the recycling center at the center of a recent storm of controversy. Residents and businessowners in the Peninsula and the Midway area are being urged to attend the planners’ meeting to counter the push to close it down.

The Peninsula planners meet at 6:30 pm at the Point Loma Hervey Library, 3701 Voltaire Street, SD 92017.

Here is the text from a press statement put out by some local activists and Sean Foldenauer of the Foldenauer Law Group:

Save Prince Recycling!

Prince Recycling, owned and operated by long-time Ocean Beach resident, Jamie Prince, is the last remaining recycling center left to serve the Ocean Beach/Point Loma community. It has successfully operated for nearly 5 years at Stump’s Family Marketplace on 3770 Voltaire Street and is facing eviction!

Please come to the Pt. Loma Peninsula Planning Board meeting on Thursday at 6:30 pm to let the board know WE NEED RECYCLING in OB/Pt. Loma.

Home owners and beach locals overwhelmingly support recycling, and for good reason. Recycling protects our beaches and environment, saves energy, and provides jobs.

Did you know:

– Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
– Recycling 1 glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt lightbulb for 4 hours.
– Every pound of steel recycled can save enough energy to light a 60-watt lightbulb for 24 hours.
– Every ton of paper recycled can save up to 4,200 kilowatt hours of energy.

In recent years, recycling centers have come under attack by real estate investors seeking higher returns on their investments. These profit-driven investors demand the closing of recycling centers bordering their investment properties based on uncorroborated claims they attract homeless, which supposedly diminishes their returns on investment (ROI).

Prince Recycling has recently come under such an attack. But, most of its customers are local families and businesses doing their part for our community and environment – not homeless recyclers. Our community has a homeless problem – not a recycling problem. Forcing the recycling center to close will not solve San Diego’s homeless problem.

Prince Recycling is a welcome member of the Ocean Beach/Point Loma community. It protects the environment and employs locals. Not a lot of businesses can make this claim. Prince Recycling is already properly zoned for recycling and it undergoes and passes regular inspections by the City. The Peninsula community needs a conveniently located recycling center.

Shuttering the recycling center is an unworkable solution for our community. What we need is civic leadership to present real ideas and enact real solutions to address the growing homeless population. Scape-goating and destroying a local business is a failed and punitive strategy. The Peninsula needs more recycling, not less.

Stand with Prince Recycling.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

RB March 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

The bottles and cans that we add to the BLUE bins support the whole recycling plan for the city. The bottles and cans in the BLUE bins allow economical collection of paper, paper food boxes, books, magazines, newspaper, and the ever increasing amounts of cardboard from e-commerce. Collecting only bottles and cans by Prince undermines real complete recycling by the city.

Many of the collections brought to Prince Recycling at actually cans and bottles removed illegally from the BLUE bins. The BLUE bins support a complete recycling program while Prince recycling and their ‘pickers’ undermines the city program.

They need to go …………………….


Geoff Page March 16, 2018 at 10:46 am


You wrote “Many of the collections…” Do you have anything to show how much of what goes to Prince Recycling comes out of the blue bins? “Many” is not specific enough for anyone.


Joe March 19, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Well, if you live on Voltaire, every Sunday night when we put our trash/recycling bins out the hobo train comes through, rifles our blue bins, and heads right up to Prince Recycling. Let em go is my vote.


Geez March 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

How about getting to the root of the problem: CalRecycle is an outdated infrastructure unnecessary in the current world. When consumer recycling was in its infancy, there was some value in the CRV to encourage recycling. It is long past its prime. There are numerous states and municipalities that have very effective recycling programs without the huge infrastructure that CA laws demand. Abolish it and focus on mixed recycle in blue bins.

Nothing against Prince. They’re filling a business need driven by a ridiculously overregulated CA government.


ZZ March 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Geez, good point. When I was a kid in Michigan in the mid/late 80’s, the 10 cent deposit was equal to about 25 cents today. We did not have general city recycling, but nobody was going to throw away their cans/bottles and you never saw them littered.

For a 12-pack of soda (or should I say pop because it’s Michigan), you paid $1.20 in deposits, equal to $3. That was a pretty big incentive to only save 12 cans. And the majority of stores took them back. Now in California, you need to save 60 cans and go much further to get the deposits back to make the equivalent. And almost all would be recycled anyway!

I think the solution is just to have a soda tax. It will save many people from diabetes and obesity and worked well in Philadelphia and New York. That can replace the whole outdated deposit system.


ZZ March 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

“Do you have anything to show how much of what goes to Prince Recycling comes out of the blue bins?”

I know that 99-100% of the cans and glass bottles from my blue bin are taken by homeless. If the first guy misses any, usually another two or three will find them later. I don’t really care most of the time, but a few times every year the “pickers” will throw cardboard items or other things they don’t want out of the blue bin and leave them on the street or parkway for me to clean up. They also will sometimes leave the lid open or knock it over. I’ve also had some who cut open the trash bags in the black bin, causing the trash to spill out.

I also know the 10 or so times I saved my cans and bottles to take to a recycling center, 100% of the other people there bringing things in looked to be homeless.

I am on your side of this issue Geoff and if anything want more recycling centers, but RB’s point is completely correct in my 15 years of living in OB. (In Michigan where there is a 10 cent deposit, every large grocery store has vending machine type items to return cans and bottles for deposit refund, so a much higher percentage of residents sort and return cans)

Asking someone who is sharing their own experience for “evidence” is a good way to shut down dialog and harden positions.

To get to your question “how much of what goes to Prince Recycling comes out of the blue bins,” let’s do an estimate. How many people in OB/PL bring in their own bottles/cans for deposit? My guess is 5% tops. I did it for about a year or two, but it just does not make sense economically. You might make $10 for a three hour investment of your time between crushing, saving, and storing the 200 cans it takes to get to $10 and taking them in. During the period I was doing this, I also saved them at my job. When I stopped, I wanted to see if anyone else at work wanted to keep the “free” cans, but nobody did.

So, that implies that Prince is getting about 5% of actual residents bringing in cans, and 95% people taking them from city bins.

But you have to account for littered cans picked up by homeless. What percentage of cans are littered? I think it is a pretty small share. Even during big OB events, I tend not to see many littered cans and bottles on the ground but hundreds in the temporary recycle bins set up for the event. But let’s say it is 5% and all of them are picked up by homeless.

Put these together then, the sources at Price are roughly 5% OB resident household recycling, 5% homeless picking up litter, 90% homeless taking cans from bins. And this ends up matching my experience actually taking in cans both at Stumps and the other location nearby, which is behind Ralphs/Home Depot.

My constructive suggestion is we thank Stumps and Prince for the service they provide, and encourage Prince and others who deal with homeless to educate them about not causing disruption or messes when they pick. It seems like it is a small percentage of the pickers likely causing problems for the rest of them. Letting them know they are welcome if they are considerate, but if they cause problems they risk arrest and also could lead to Prince being shut down.


Geoff Page March 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm


I don’t place much faith in general statements so I always ask for more hard information to back those up. That only shuts down the discussion when the other person has nothing, when people do have something they are very willing to share it. And, usually when the other person has nothing, they resort to an attack as a defense. I don’t have a side in this fight, I do think Prince was treated very badly and because of the public debacle, he says he cannot find anyone willing to rent him a space no one else wants to be a target of the idiots that came after him. While I appreciate your effort to estimate, according to Prince, only a small part of his business comes from homeless recycling. Now, I don’t have anything to back that up and I doubt that Prince does either because it probably wasn’t something he ever felt he needed to track, so all I can offer is his accounting. I can say that they made improvements with lights and cameras and a woman who lives in Sea Colony spoke at the PCPB meeting last night and said it was a big improvement. If Prince could find a good location away from residents but convenient for the Peninsula, I’m sure he’d be happy to take it. The problem is finding one.


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