A city-sponsored community meeting will be held April 4 on draft rules for maintaining fairness and avoiding conflict at the "Exchange Zone" at El Cerrito's soon-to-open new .
The Exchange Zone will incorporate the popular Book Exchange from the old recycling center, which saw numerous resident complaints about about aggressive book-grabbers snatching up box-loads of used books for resale. Two men got into a physical altercation over the books, with one having his glasses knocked off, a month ago at the makeshift interim spot for the Book Exchange, according to recycling center employees.
Numerous other re-use items – such as tools, toys and CDs – will be added in the expanded Exchange Zone.
The proposed new protocol has one main rule: "Take no more than one file box of items per day."
Appearing in brackets after the rule is the further statement: "[Bulk users contact staff to access larger quantities.]"
In addition, there are seven "Rules of Conduct":
- Place accepted items in designated areas only
- Supervise your children and leave pets at home
- Parking in the facility is limited to 30 minutes
- Notify staff of issues and call 911 in an emergency
- Do not drop-off items that the City does not accept
- Do not take any items without City permission
- Do not get in or move any bins or equipment
The new rules are the latest and apparent final draft, following an earlier city draft discussed at a on the issue on Nov. 30.
"We will be providing an overview and taking comments at the community meeting next Wednesday, April 4th at 3 p.m.," said an email notice Wednesday from city Environmental Analyst Garth Schultz, manager of the recycling center.
"I will take comments / answer questions for two weeks after this meeting via phone or email," he said. The final Exchange Zone rules will be posted prior to the ribbon-cutting and open house for the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 4-6 p.m.
City officials had hoped to open the new Recycling Center in February, but a delay in obtaining a water hook-up has caused it to be postponed.
A draft poster with the new rules also lists items to be accepted and not accepted. The "Accepted" list says:
Small reusable items, including:
- Art Supplies
- Audio / Video Tapes
- Bicycle Parts
- CDs and DVDs
- Greeting Cards
- Records / LPs
- School Supplies
- Office Supplies
The "Not Accepted" section says:
- No inappropriate or unsafe items
- No hazardous or toxic substances or items
- El Cerrito provides no guaruntee for any exchanged item
A copy of the poster is attached to this article. The April 4 meeting will held at the Recycling Center at 7501 Schmidt Lane.
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