HANC looking for alternatives to stay open after eviction

S.F. Examiner File Photo

The eviction of the recycling center in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is on hold for now as a suitable alternative for the nonprofit is worked out.

But Recreation and Park Department officials say that despite ongoing conversations about relocating the 20-year-old facility, known as the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council recycling center, things are “moving forward” with an eviction to make way for community gardens.

Rec and Park, which holds the lease for the 1-acre parcel in southeastern Golden Gate Park, served HANC officials an eviction notice in June 2011. But when the center did not vacate the space, the matter went to court.

In September, the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case, essentially making the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the eviction final. At that time, another eviction could have been issued, but as of Tuesday afternoon the required notice had not been posted.

HANC officials said that in the meantime they have discussed alternatives with the Mayor’s Office, Department of the Environment, Rec and Park and the office of their district supervisor, Christina Olague.

Ideas include a mobile recycling center. Ed Dunn, executive director of the existing recycling center, said a similar mobile center is operating in San Diego, but state code was changed to specifically allow that site and similar action would have to take place here as well.

Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office, said Mayor Ed Lee is “open” to talking about alternatives, though the status of HANC’s operations near Kezar Stadium was not discussed at a recent meeting.

“The meeting was about recycling and making it available citywide,” Falvey said. “The group had ideas about how to offer recycling programs on a mobile basis. The mayor is open to hearing ideas.”

Olague’s office was more optimistic that a solution would be reached.

“The bottom line is HANC is a beacon of our community,” said Stephanie Tucker, a spokeswoman for Olague. “They offer such an amazing community service, they’ve taught numerous children and helped introduce the concept of recycling.

We’re doing all in our ability to save and help relocate the center in District 5.”

Dunn said the discussions are showing city officials HANC’s value to the community.

“San Francisco has to recognize that HANC performs a public service,” he said. “The center needs to be relocated rather than eliminated.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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