What Happened to OB’s Recycling Center Next to Pat’s Liquor?

by on September 23, 2021 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

Over the past few months I have received several calls asking me if Prince’s Recycling Center at 5096 Voltaire right next to Pat’s Liquor is open or closed. This center is not to be confused with the one that was adjacent to Stumps Market, also on Voltaire.  Each time I received a call I investigated to see the situation and sometimes I found it open while other times I found it closed.

Recently, however, there has been a sign on the door that stated that the City had closed them down and after receiving a call from Basil at Pat’s Liquor, I decided it was time to do a full investigation. I want to thank Scott Robinson, the Supervising Public Information Officer from the City of San Diego Communications Department for the following information.

Basically, it seems that there was a complaint made by a resident in the neighborhood that the odors emanating from the trash cans was wafting into his apartment. He said that at times the smells were overpowering.  An investigation began.

On August 10th, a notice was send to Mr. Prince, telling him that the recycling center was in violation of the San Diego Municipal Code.

Cited were two observations made on April 14th and April 21th: One stated that there was an:

“unpermitted use of Recycling Collection Center in a residential zone; an unpermitted storage non-incidental items including, but not limited to dump truck, golf car, washers, dryers and storage containers, and an unpermitted electrical conduit attached to the perimeter of a wood fence that connects to an unpermitted storage container.”

Then the violation numbers and Code Sections were cited.

In the Civil Penalty Notice and Order, the following statement was seen in large black letters –

“If you correct the ..violations as identified, you will not be subject to any administrative civil penalties.”

The date of October 11, 2021, was given for the violations to be rectified.  Those violations are as follows:

  1. cease all operations associated with recycling collections and remove all equipment associated with the operations (
  2. Remove all non-incidental storage in all yards
  3. Remove the storage containers of obtain a permit
  4. Obtain required Electrical Permit(s) and successfully complete all required inspections and
  5. Ensure a comprehensive inspection to verify all violations have been corrected.

It goes on to say that if he fails to comply with the Notice and Order he is subject to civil administrative penalties, based on $500 a day per violation.

I don’t think that I need to quote any more of the violation. It appears to me that the recycling center is closed for good.  In the first place the area is a residential area and nothing is going to change that. There has to be a Zone change for the recycling center to be in operation. I don’t see that happening either.

And so that brings me to another situation.  And that is the deposit fee on a bottle in the first place.  If we have to pay a deposit (CRV) and there is no place to return those bottles, then the fee should be eliminated. I pay good money for that deposit. I don’t want to put in my blue recycling container so that someone else – the State – can received back that fee.  I want that money returned to me.

I was told that if I go to www2.calrecycle.ca.gov I will be told where I can recycle my bottles and cans.  I tried and I found the following three places:  7-Eleven on Voltaire; Rushings Liquor on Voltaire, and Stumps Market on Voltaire.  A call to each of them received a negative reply for the bags of recycles I have.  So how do I recoup my CRV deposit.  Simple answer, isn’t it? I don’t. And let’s throw one more little deterrent on the pile.  In the past we have been sending the recyclables collected to China for their purposes. But now China no longer wants them from us. So as they are collected for shipment overseas, the pile will get larger and larger until we will have our own sea of plastics and cans.  What then?

I, for one, will miss the recycling center, just as I miss the center next to Stumps. There are recycling centers that I drive to now to take my bottles and cans – East San Diego; Santee, etc.  It is more the principle of the thing than just tossing them in the blue barrels.  But if our legislature had any smarts, they would revisit the entire concept of returning the recyclables and come up with a better solution that will save the environment and, at the same time, not be a costly burden on consumers.

Here’s the notice:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi Curry September 23, 2021 at 12:39 pm

I for one will miss the recycling center – but at least I can still stop by at Pat’s Liquor…….


Peter from South O September 24, 2021 at 5:46 pm

You need not drive to Santee or deal with a sketchy location; why not just take your CRV bottles and cans to Miramar? You can then combine the refund run with other recyclable stuff that you might have!


Eco-Warrior September 25, 2021 at 9:14 pm

SD Recycling Depot
Recycling center in San Diego, California
Address: Behind Minit Mart Liquor, 2351 Ulric St, San Diego, CA 92111
Closed ? Opens 9AM Mon
Phone: (619) 832-3848

Please dear Judy: do not drive so far away to recycle your cans and bottle. There is a good place right here in Linda Vista to go to. Hope this helps your recycling dilemma.


Chris October 6, 2021 at 1:50 am

The CRV system is such a scam. Unless you’re saving up a significant volume of bottles (who has room for that?), you’ll end up spending as much on gasoline driving to the recycling center than you’ll get from your haul


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