A resident near CCSF recently complained about an increase in trash in the Balboa Reservoir parking lot after the removal of trash cans. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A resident near CCSF recently complained about an increase in trash in the Balboa Reservoir parking lot after the removal of trash cans. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Complaints of trash arise at CCSF as college ramps up recycling capacity

Inching closer toward its goal of exclusively recycling its waste, City College of San Francisco is set to expand its beverage container collection and recycling capacity by 60 percent annually.

The effort is funded by a $140,000 CalRecycle grant that was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees on Thursday.

The grant will allow for the expansion of CCSF’s existing recycling program to three buildings at the Ocean Avenue campus, funding recycling infrastructure and signage, a trilingual outreach program and the employment and training of student monitors. The college aims to increase the collecting and recycling of beverage containers by 43.3 tons each year.

“The goal is to reduce trash and increase recycling diversion,” said Carlita Martinez, CCSF’s Recycling Coordinator. “We have 10 campuses and it’s an ongoing challenge and ongoing job.”

Little by little, the college is phasing out its traditional garbage bins with The City’s “three bin system” — a blue recycling bin, green compost bin and a black landfill bin, Martinez said.

The effort is in line with The City’s vision of reaching zero waste — or sending no discarded materials to landfills — by 2020.

Despite the incoming funding, Martinez acknowledged the college still has “a long way to go.”

“It’s unfortunate that we don’t have enough money to do the whole thing [at once] so we do [a building here] and a building there,” she said.

Complaints of a pervasive “trash problem” at the college’s main campus were brought to the attention of CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha this month by some of college’s neighbors.

In an email addressed to Rocha on Dec. 11, Estelle Smith, a nearby resident of the college, said an “enormous amount of trash” continues to invade the lower Balboa Reservoir parking lot, land owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and utilized by CCSF for student parking.

Despite outreach to The City and to CCSF, Smith purported that trash on the outskirts of the campus “has been an issue for years.

“There is trash everywhere — it’s like someone took garbage bags and dumped them out there,” Smith said. “There are [remnants of a] homeless encampment there. Someone went down there and changed their oil … it’s been there for months. It’s hazardous materials that can leak.”

Rocha did not respond to requests for comment by press time, but in an email response to Smith said that the college had “one cleanup day this summer” in the area but “we obviously need another.” Rocha promised that he would “work with The City to clean this up. “

Smith said that all trash cans “have been removed from both parking lots.”

“Simply put, there is no where to discard garbage except on the ground,” she wrote in an email to Rocha.

Martinez confirmed that random bins have been removed throughout the campus, but that the college has largely replaced them with the three-bin recycling system.
“There is a method to the madness,” she said.

“The old system is a million trash cans all over the place and that’s not how we are doing it anymore,” Martinez said. “This new world of zero waste does ask you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit and go to a place where you can do the right thing.”education

Just Posted

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

Pregnant women are in the high-risk category currently prioritized for booster shots in San Francisco. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Inoculations for immunosuppressed individuals are recommended in the second trimester

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Most Read