The property behind Rite Aid where the facility once operated was deserted Sept. 25, leaving recycling customers to stand by quizzically.
Two signs stated the site had been canceled by CalRecycle — the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery — and there was a CalRecycle contact reference attached to a container.
Three decades ago, Dan Regan, owner of R.B. Enterprises, started OB’s only recycling facility at the corner of Voltaire Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard before relocating the business to the Rite Aid location in 1998.
Regan also owns another recycling center in Kearny Mesa on Ashford Street.
Having to support a family and house payments with the income from his business, Regan personally oversees operations at both his facilities.
Despite the contention that CalRecycle cancelled Regan’s recycling center, CalRecycle officials disagreed.
“CalRecycle did not cancel or close Mr. Regan’s facility,” said Mark Oldfield, communications director for CalRecycle. “He is in compliance with all program regulations. CalRecycle has absolutely no reason to shut him down. Closing the Ocean Beach facility was solely the owner’s decision, based on whether he is able to continue the business and make a profit. Unfortunately, CalRecycle can no longer award the monthly handling-fee payment.”
That may be of little consolation to Regan, whose world is now upside-down.
“Besides having to lay off one of my long-time employees, my income has been cut in half for the past three months,” Regan said.
In conjunction with less income, he has also not been receiving his monthly handling-fee payments from CalRecycle.
“Their [CalRecycle] reasoning is based on a sudden change of CRV zoning that used to make my facility eligible for the handling-fee payments from the state. Without that help, I won’t be able to keep the OB place running.”
He said that the lack of funds forced him into making the decision to close the Ocean Beach facility to avoid further financial losses.
Regan also fears his family will soon end up homeless.
“Beginning today, I have 90 days to somehow fix this dilemma before my house goes into foreclosure,” he said.
Regan insists that he never received notification from CalRecycle about the recent CRV zone change, which was a result of the closure of the former Appletree Market, exempting his facility from receiving further state funds.
According to Oldfield, however, once the Appletree Market closed, this eliminated the convenience-zone Regan’s facility operated in. Oldfield said Regan knew that his business was no longer eligible for state assistance.
“Nonetheless, we have been working with the owner to find ways for him to stay viable at the current location,” said Oldman. “We would like to see Regan to continue his Ocean Beach location. We will assist in finding other ways or locations for him to set up and be successful.”
California recycling centers are not owned or operated by the state. However, according to CalRecycle’s website, www.calrecycle.ca.gov, profit recycling centers — which are certified convenience-zone recycling centers — are eligible to receive the state’s help in the form of a monthly handling-fee payment, provided they meet CalRecycle’s criteria.
Regan wonders why Rite Aid and Peoples Market in Ocean Beach are not considered by CalRecycle to meet these CRV criteria, since they are a supermarket and/or a full-line service store.
Regan said he would much rather keep his business in Ocean Beach where his services are well known and respected.
He said he takes pride in the fact that most Obecians, as well as local schools and churches, have been recycling at his Ocean Beach facility for the last 30 years.
Regan hopes CalRecycle will decide to help him rekindle his business in Ocean Beach.
“Hopefully, they [CalRecycle] will somehow consider a reasonable compromise. I would hate to see OB folks travel almost five miles out of town to the next recycle center,” Regan said.
Consumers who have concerns regarding the closure of a recycling center can call (800) 732-9253, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regan’s customer hotline can be reached at (858) 430-6076.