Large residential garbage and recycling containers have mysteriously appeared in my Civic Center neighborhood over the last week in spots where they don't belong.
They sit on the middle of the sidewalk on McAllister Street...
...with one burnt-out recycling container sprawled across the street from City Hall.
The containers are parked next to a Veterans Building public garbage can...
...and along the sidewalk at Franklin and McAllister Streets.
The waste disposal company in San Francisco is currently called Recology, but under various previous names, the Italian-American, worker-owned company has had an unbroken monopoly on garbage contracts since the 1930s.
According to a thesis By Rose Doris Scherini, "The Italian American community of San Francisco: a descriptive study":
"This monopoly of the scavenger business by Italians has been an economic boom for the ethnic group; immediate employment was provided for unskilled immigrants, and economic advancement was facilitated by stock-sharing. Until recent years, when workers of varied ethnic backgrounds have been hired, the scavenger work force was almost entirely made up of Ligurians. Employment was usually arranged by a relative already in the employ of one of the companies. In the thirties and forties, the Scavengers Protective Association (S.P.A.) also played a social role in the community; its annual picnic was a major event, well-attended, even by non-Italian mayors..."
Recology has been much in the news lately as their no-bid contracts have come under increasing fire from Potrero Hill activist Tony Kelly and retired San Francisco judge Quentin Kopp while the Board of Supervisors is trying to fast-track a new contract with the company for a waste landfill in Yuba County. (Click here for the recently laid-off Sarah Phelan's article on the issue at the Bay Guardian.)
Another bit of bombshell news is the participation of Recology in the astroturf "Run, Ed, Run" campaign to urge "caretaker" San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to run in this November's election even though he very publicly promised he would never do so. John Cote wrote a story at the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday (click here) that was unusually blunt about the sleaziness of Lee's sponsor Rose Pak and her shakedown of Recology for money, signatures, and personnel, which professional public relations liar Sam Singer is claiming was all the fault of an unnamed rogue executive at the company. The Bay Citizen this morning also chimed in with an expose of Recology and its connections at City Hall (click here), including its long, cozy relationship with both Ed Lee and former mayor Willie Brown Jr.
When asked about her association with the company, Chinatown fixer Rose Pak simply lied and said she had never even heard of Recology which doesn't seem very credible. Maybe Ms. Pak should walk west a couple of blocks the next time she's visiting her protege Ed Lee in the Mayor's Office at City Hall, and she'd see all the mysterious garbage cans with the Recology logos on them littering the sidewalks. They look like an omen.