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Last of Alhambra recycling centers allowed to remain — for now

Recycling-for-cash at Albertson's will be permitted to continue in the coming year, but the site must be reduced to less than a quarter of its current size of 900 square feet, City Council decided on Monday night.

The city's four other recycling centers have shut down in the last year since the Council passed an ordinance placing new restrictions on the sites in residential and commercial areas. In the last several months, supporters of the center located at Albertson's have vocally opposed the move to close that facility saying they depend upon it for extra income and it increases local business.

The discussion at Monday's City Council meeting was a change of focus to safety for city officials who earlier primarily voiced concerns about appearance and public nuisance. "We are not shutting it down," Director of Development Services Mary Swink said on Monday's meeting, "We are merely making it safer."

In April, Swink told the Pasadena Star-News that the city wanted to remove the "dirty" facilities from the public eye. Councilman Gary Yamauchi said the centers were "creating a lot of noise and nuisance" and that the ordinance was passed in an effort to take control of that.  Regarding the Albertson's location, he said, "I drove by there twice today, there must have been 10 to 15 people in line with their bags. I would rather see that shielded from the streets."

Yet, there was almost no mention of aesthetics during Monday night's meeting, as city officials stated their concerns over safety because the center is situated alongside the driveway of the parking lot. Alhambra City Council granted RePlanet Recycling one year to conform to new regulations, and will allow it to stay open under the condition that they downsize to 200 square feet.

Alhambra Source asked readers what they thought of the recycling issue, and whether they felt the centers should be banned altogether. Of the 110 responses submitted by 6.12.2012, 70 people voted that the recycling should be left alone. If you haven't already, take our poll below and let us know what you think.

Do you think recycling-for-cash should be banned in Alhambra? (vote for as many solutions as you see fit)

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5 thoughts on “Last of Alhambra recycling centers allowed to remain — for now”

  1. How are people supposed to recycle in this community? What’s the reason for this absurd measure? This center was an encouragement even for those who are not directly interested in recycling and this was a good thing. The community officials should read few things about how San Diego junk removal works for example, they might learn something.

  2. Mr. Yamauchi’s comments are embarrassing and disingenuous. Saying that he would rather not see residents that are trying to make a buck in hard times shows a total lack of empathy for the people he is representing that come from a lower economic class. Only in Alhambra would recycling be seen as a nuisance, dirty and something to be shielded from the public. I think Mr. Yamauchi’s statement represents the interests of Allied Disposal who sees the recycling centers as competition to their corporate interests. The fact that Mr. Yamauchi received $4000 dollars (Campaign documents filed with the city clerk)toward his campaign fund from this company must play some part in his opposition to recycling centers in Alhambra. Time for Yamauchi to retire I say.

  3. Sounds like MARY SWICK & COUNCILMAN YAMAUCHI use the same tactics as Communist China when they hosted the Olympics by “hiding” their poor people so tourists would not feel offended. Shame on Swick & Yamauchi – speaking as a long time Alhambra resident, I AM NOT OFFENDED BY LOW_INCOME PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING – maybe Swick & Yamauchoi should move to a “cleaner community with no visible poverty.”

    1. Communist China? Give me a break!

  4. Frances Villegas

    I will direct myself first to Mr. Yamaguchi to say I’m grateful I didn’t elect you to represent my family & myself in this great city we live in! You should be ashamed of yourself for being so out of touch with the economical situation of our working class citizens,one of which I am. Recycling is a vital source for many families to earn extra money for everyday necessaties. Obviously Mr. Yamaguchi hasn’t ever had the need! Those extra dollars earned are spent in our city but be assured if those who sit on our council seats with that “better than thou” attitude continue to stop everyday people from having just a little bit more, we will spend our dollars in other cities! A nuisance! Why not build a nice curb appeal barrier,maybe a few of those massive pottery pieces that line Mission Dr. You must find a better solution! Reducing the size of the Albertson’s center will only create more lines & disorder that does not exsist at the present time!