SAN DIEGO -- A group of residents from Ocean Beach and Point Loma gathered Sunday morning to protest Prince Recycling, saying it's a hub for homeless and potential crime.
They say a law meant to reduce litter in communities is actually attracting crime and homeless to residential areas and needs to be changed.
Seven-year-old Giovanni and his mother Courtney Pavone go to Prince Recycling weekly to turn in their cans and bottles. His mother says her son has been doing this for the last few years. She says it's his way of earning a little money, all while being environmentally conscious.
“It’s mostly our trash that would end up in the ocean or a landfill and it’s a great way for him to make some extra money, gain some independence and confidence and help the environment and community,” Pavone said.
She says Prince Recycling is convenient, as it's the only recycling center within a mile of Ocean Beach and Point Loma. But a rally protesting the current location of the recycling center could change how she and other residents dispose of their recyclables.
John Linney and others on the Peninsula Community Planning Board say the center is loud and attracts homeless and potential crime. They want to move Prince Recycling to an industrial zone away from residential areas and are handing out a petition to change a law that mandates recycling center be located near grocery stores in residential areas.
"There has been a lot of complaint from the community for the last two years about noise, safety and also wanting to relocate this center,” Linney said. "Let’s relocate this place for a safer and better place and also let's look at the loophole to where they can’t just drop it right there in the middle of where there are schools and kids involved."
James Prince, Point Loma native and the owner of Prince Recycling, says he hasn't been part of the conversation. He says he isn't the reason the homeless are there and doesn't see the need to relocate to the Midway District.
“If you buy a can or bottle and you pay the deposit, you should be able to return it and get your money back without having to go to some industrial zone which they keep speaking of. That’s the idea of where I’m at, is a convenience zone and that’s all we’re trying to do here is keep the area clean,” Prince said.
The petition will be presented to San Diego City Council next week and then sent to Assemblyman Todd Gloria.