On the El Cerrito City Council agenda for Tuesday night is a staff request to approve stricter, enforceable rules for patron conduct at the city's new Recycling Center.
The new rules would limit parking at the facility to half an hour and time spent at the center to two hours. They would also require patrons to obtain staff permission to remove any items from recycling bins, with a permit required for salvaging certain non-hazardous items for reuse. No permit would be allowed for resale of items.
Permits would not be required to remove items from the Book Exchange or Exchange Zone. The current rule of not taking more than one file box worth of items from the Book/Exchange Zone would remain.
A staff report from the manager of the Recycling Center, Environmental Analyst Garth Schultz, says the "common sense rules" that were posted when the rebuilt facility opened in April have failed to stop complaints about continuing abuses.
The report cites the following activities as the main sources of complaints:
• Users of the book exchange taking too many books and being aggressive
• People taking materials from recycling collection bins
• People getting on, or into, recycling bins or entering restricted staff areas
• People parking or staying in the facility for many hours or all day
• Groups of people loitering and taking recyclable materials from other patrons
Police could be summoned if needed to enforce the new rules, and violatioins would be subject to criminal prosecution, the report says.
The city not only wants to preserve civility and safety at the recycling center but also to balance two conflicting goals: maxmizing city revenue from selling recyled items brought to the center and diverting materials from the waste stream into reuse when possible, according to the report.
The salvage permits "would be issued on an annual basis for legitimate reuse (not resale) of certain items including, but not limited to, art projects, school projects, landscaping projects, building projects, etc.," according to the report.
The draft Rules of Conduct contained in the report are:
SUPERVISE your children and leave pets at home
NOTIFY STAFF of any issues and call 911 in an emergency
NO LOITERING – Limit daily visitation to 2 hours total, maximum
NO DUMPING – Place accepted items in designated areas only
DO NOT park over 30 minutes at a time within this facility
DO NOT get in or move any equipment or enter staff areas
DO NOT take items from drop-off areas, patrons, or vehicles without City permission or as designated
* Exchange Zone, Packaging, Bicycle, and Planter Pot areas exempt from this provision
* See staff for more details regarding permitted salvage activities
DO NOT take more than one file box of items per day from the Exchange Zone
Failure to comply with these rules may result in action per ECMC 8.12.040, 8.12.140, 10.60.010, and CPC 602(l).
TRESSPASSING & LOITERING PROHIBITED BY LAW
AREA UNDER 24 HOUR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
The report also includes a revised city ordinance authorizing the city to adopt the new rules and a copy of the salvage permit application. No fee is named for the application. The permit instructions say, "Applicant shall pay an application fee as provided in the city's master fee schedule, if one is established."
The report is attached to this article. The City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m.