Letters: Recycling in SF isn’t always convenient

Residents still resist recycling,” The City, May 24

Recycling in S.F. isn’t always convenient
Your cover story was both biased and inaccurate. The first paragraph said that “some people just can’t be bothered to sort their trash,” and the story quoted Debbie Raphael, director of the Department of the Environment, as saying, “Here we have a system with the ultimate convenience.”

I am the resident manager of a four-story apartment building near Chinatown. Most residents are elderly, and the recycling bins are in the back of the building, down a steep, narrow stairway that is open to the elements. When it rains, the stairs are wet and slippery, and they are difficult to negotiate anytime. The building has a garbage chute for regular trash, but none for recycling and compost. I often see items in the regular trash bins that don’t belong there, but most residents are pretty good about using the recyling and composting bins.

If someone is barely mobile, do you expect that person to walk three or four flights down the back stairway, risking a fall, just because the building isn’t designed to make recyling easy? I would like to see Raphael move into this building with her eldest, most fragile relatives and see how convenient they find it.

Max Millard, San Francisco

Reduced plastic pollution a mayoral priority,” Green Space, May 23

Real solutions for S.F. recyclables
I always thought San Francisco and Recology were sending recyclables to actual recycling facilities in the Bay Area, or at least within California. However, recyclables are being bundled and sold for a profit to China. That’s not what I consider to be recycling at all.

Now that China has implemented laws against foreign recyclables, San Francisco and Recology have no idea of what to do with all the recyclables that are stacking up at their collection facilities. San Francisco should require Recology to actually recycle what’s in the blue bin. We should not be shipping off our garbage elsewhere.

Will Lee, San Francisco

CCSF leaders skeptical of governor’s proposed ‘online only’ college,” The City, May 23

Online education for the betterment of California
The only thing baffling about Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to establish a new fully online college is why it hasn’t been done sooner. It’s a straightforward solution to the gap that remains in higher education for 2.5 million Californians aged 24 to 35.

Our current system, with its talented faculty, does a fine job meeting the needs of current students served by our brick-and-mortar and online course offerings. But for working adults, currently stranded in their careers, they need more flexible educational opportunities required for economic mobility. This comes in the form of the new online college, where they can gain skills on their own time at their own pace.

The status quo is no longer acceptable to all Californians. California and its elected leaders need to take action in establishing the new online college so we no longer turn our backs on Californians who continue to fall through the cracks. These working adults need higher education training opportunities that will allow them to advance and serve as a driving force in the state’s economy.

Without them, who will push California’s economy forward?

Jim Wunderman, president and CEO, Bay Area Council

Email reveals Lyft expanding into e-scooter business in S.F.,” The City, May 22

Convenient timing for e-scooter press
Now, let me get this straight … Alex Tourk, founder and principal of Ground Floor Public Affairs, is soliciting The City for Lyft to allow them to have e-Scooters. Tourk is in on the payroll and in the pocket of Ron “let’s run over The City in the name of tech” Conway. Tourk worked in the administration of Willie “I can do that for you, Ron” Brown.

Brown’s column on Sunday was headlined, “Scooter’s on SF’s streets: What’s not to like?” and further stated, “So don’t be surprised if you see me tooling along on one soon.”

Public relations-paid setup or coincidence? You tell me and my city.

Daniel Detorie, San Francisco

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