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October 3, 2009

Marin Independent Journal

We need recycling kiosks

I applaud the San Rafael City Council's approval of Mi Pueblo Food Centers' Latino supermarket in the vacant Circuit City building on Bellam Boulevard in the Canal neighborhood.

As with all projects the devil is in the details.

The city could insist on a beverage-container recycling cash-back kiosk on the site. This will enable residents to conveniently cash in beverage containers locally and not be forced to drive to a recycling center or worse, discard them.

Recent stories about "recycling poaching" in the IJ reminds us that people all over the world, including the U.S., harvest value from trash, including beverage containers. In Marin, making it easy for residents to get their deposits back is essential.

With a county goal of "zero waste" by 2025, it's shocking to hear that the Canal does not have curbside recycling for bottles and cans.

San Rafael wrongfully hides behind the municipal waste hauler's "recycling exclusivity" and does not allow cash-back kiosks. However, the Supreme Court, in a Palm Springs case in 1994 ruled that noncurbside recycling does not fall under garbage contracts.

It's time for us to insist on cash-back kiosks at supermarkets in Central Marin. The new Mi Pueblo Food Center in the Canal would be a wonderful opportunity for the residents of the neighborhood.

Bruce Baum, San Anselmo


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