Recycle junk bottles and cans they say: But recycling centers are closing

Recycling Center closures make it more difficult to recycle junk, bottles and cans.


Recycling centers all over the San Francisco Bay Area and in the country are facing more and more

financial pressure.


Yes, your trip to recycle junk or other commodities is becoming longer.


It is becoming difficult for collection centers to remain profitable.


The problem? Low commodity prices, strict government regulation, increasing difficulty finding and retaining employees and of course the astronomic price of bay area real estate.



Why Bay Area Recycling Centers are closing?


This is happening all over the San Francisco Bay but the global recycling and commodity climate is affecting recycling centers all over the nation.


In Redwood City in the last 2 years we have seen the demise of Sierra Pacific Recycling which was at  2700 Middlefield Rd Redwood City, CA 94063.


The root of the problem?


Commodities are low.  Oil has been low and keeping the price of scrap plastic

at very low prices.


Scrap metal prices are also low.   Recycling centers have to process a lot more material in order to turn the same profit as they were a few years ago.


The State uses deposits from the CRV Program  to subsidize the recycling centers.   When prices plummet the subsidy isn’t enough to keep recycling centers turning a profit.


While the CRV program has worked for many years it has its flaws.  Just  recently the government arrested  31 people for essentially smuggling cans into our state in an attempt defraud the system.


The problem is compounded by rezoning of industrial areas into multi family residential.    This limits the real estate in which these types of businesses can operate.


Not in my backyard attitude


With a rush of new residents to the bay area, developers are rushing to cash in on the silicon gold rush.    Of course this move has pushed out recycling centers as well as other businesses which support recycling centers.


Indeed, consumers are find they have to drive a further to recycle junk, bottles, metal, cans and waste paper.  The phenomenon is simply a sign of the times.


In addition we further outsource industry only to rely on consumerism and the service industry to power our economy. It’s a fine line we ride on.  However recycling needs to be done baled in our country in order to ship to overseas smelters in the first place.


On one end of the spectrum we want to do the right thing for the environment but on the other end residents cringe at the thought of a recycling center near their home.


The not in my backyard attitude towards recycling centers, low commodity prices and the shrinking pool of real estate will continue to put pressure on recycling centers all over the bay area until commodity prices increase.


Further Social Problems exacerbated by the demise of the local recycling center


For example many elderly or homeless residents of San Francisco rely on scavenging and recycling as a source of income or as a supplement to social security or other government assistance.

Many of these recyclers rely on sticks, bags and a strong back as their only source of transportation to and from the recycling center.

The elderly will definitely need to walk farther to recycle metal, bottles, cans, and other common recyclable items.

Recycling junk more difficult
A common sight an elderly man with a stick, and bags as his only source of transportation to the recycling center.  His ability to recycle junk, cans and bottles is limited by what he can carry on his back.

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