It has been four months now that we have started our recycling or waste management operations at building 1243. As we explained to our readers in an earlier article, this process started in 1994 and culminated four months ago. At long last we can say that we really DO HAVE a recycling center on the Presidio of San Francisco.
At this time the San Francisco Recyclers, in conjunction with a group of volunteers/artists are working with materials gathered from various recycled areas and have made art objects. The theme of the exhibition featuring the art objects is entitled the "Tree". So, we have a huge lamp in the form of a tree, we have glass arranged in the form of a tree, we have twigs, wire, and so on all arranged in a form of a tree. And we have some excellent photographs shot in some unique forests, depicting trees and the solace one finds among trees.
This struggle has been a long one. One day I was alone in that section of the ware house where the " Tree" exhibition is being displayed. Others, were busy doing their chores at the end of the ware house. I realized that this was the beginning of something many others and I wanted. We wanted to tell the world to stop wasting, stop polluting this Earth, stop sending good stuff to the dumps, recycle, recycle, recycle.
As I said, I was alone but not alone. I had this space and time to view the objects of art and felt good. I also could hear the voices and the sounds of others recycling, separating glass, paper, card board, aluminum, wood, and so on and so forth. We have come a long way. For years many had given up. Others who once were staunch supporters of recycling stopped believing that the South Side of building 1243, would ever be a Recycling or Waste Management Site. For those of us who stood by and witnessed the trauma and waste of years of unproductive work, today's reality gives us hope. The hope needed for the new millennium.
The San Francisco Conservation Corps (SFCC) has been charged to manage the various recycling accounts on the Presidio of San Francisco. They are taking over this operation gradually from the San Francisco Recyclers. This operation will be a test as the SFCC is really not fully equipped to handle so many accounts. They lack man power and the real expertise. How ever they are gearing up to tackle the task and make the most of it.
The Master Lease on this building right now is held by the San Francisco Recyclers and the two persons really responsible are Ed Dunn the Operations Manager and Kevin Drew the Site Manager. I help facilitate the educational and office operations. Act as the Facility Manager and tackle logistical and security issues at this time.
It is just a matter of time when we will have in place a full blown educational program where students from the San Francisco Unified School District will visit 1243. We have always wanted building 1243 to be the best in the world. We have not got there but we will. Right now we are working on the electrical lighting and desire that the energy used meet sustainable standards. We are about to realize this dream.
We are in a catch-22 situation as the Trust owns the building and also tries to manage the operations in a far fetched manner. The hands on, nitty gritty work is done by the volunteers/artists, the SFCC, the San Francisco Recyclers, myself but yet some one who just happens to have jurisdiction over the building constantly butt their noses, without actually helping us in any concrete way.
We have non-profits on the Presidio, the Trust, the National Park Service, many Federal and non-federal entities, who are mandated to follow Recycling Mandates. We hope that we will be allowed to put in place some Standard Operating Procedures to maintain a healthy, community oriented, educational, working operation that meets the goals, fulfills the various mandated safety and occupational standards, that is appreciated by all those who live and work at the Presidio of San Francisco. We have begun well at the end of one millennium and hope the South side of building 1243 bodes well for the next millennium.