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Letter to the Editor (Proposed Recycling Center Closures)

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Hi Ken:

I live in the Mission and there is an on-line site dedicated to the neighborhood. It is called Next Door Mission Dolores. Anyway there was a lot of criticism of homeless people, especially those who sell recycled bottle and cans. There was a big push to close Safeway at Market [@Church]. Quite a few residents got on-line on this issue, all negative. I was so upset that I wrote the following on that site:

I don’t see that closing recycling centers are going to diminish recycling theft. In fact, I have observed that recycling bins are still being invaded. The fact that there is no closer recycling center has not discouraged people from taking recycles. They have found another way to dispose of their goods although it is much harder. Or is it? I was told by a recycler that he sells his goods to a truck which is parked near a Super Market and that this truck takes more than bottle and cans but also glass jars, etc. Recycling Centers only took bottle and cans.

When people are poor they are going to find a way to support themselves either legally or illegally. Having a monetary outlet selling recycling material is far more preferable than being hit over the head to take one’s purse or wallet.

Some of us that are complaining today may find ourselves in the same situation for which we are condemning others. Our present economic situation is slowly reducing our standard of living and marginalizing more and more of us.

The solution is not to criminalize people for their poverty but to realize we all need to stick together and change this rotten system where the major part of our wealth is in the hands of fewer and fewer of us.

It is disturbing to me that we have become a people who lacks compassion for others and relies on a system whose whole purpose is to criminalize and marginalize people we deem unworthy to live amongst us.

Denise D’Anne
Mission District
San Francisco

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Author: Street Sheet Editor

The STREET SHEET is the oldest continuously published street news paper in the United States. Organizationally, it is the public education and outreach tool of the Coalition on Homelessness. Every month, the STREET SHEET reaches 32,000 readers through over 200 homeless or low-income vendors. Our vendors are charged nothing for the papers they receive, and keep all money they earn through STREET SHEET distribution.

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