Point Loma residents used Assemblymember Todd Gloria's community town hall Saturday to express concerns over a recycling center they say is ruining their neighborhood.
The center opened in July 2014 and is located in the parking lot of Stumps Family Marketplace on Voltaire Street. Neighbors say it's not the center itself, but some of the people who use it that's ruining their community.
"The clientele that seem to use it the most respect the neighborhood the least," said Dirk Stumps, whose family has owned Stumps Family Marketplace for decades. The grocery store is situated close to schools and a library, and a condominium complex is across the street.
"I would say this destroyed this neighborhood to a large extent. It's brought the quality of living way down," Stumps said. "They're sleeping under bushes, in front of people's houses. They're scaring kids. They're scaring old people. They're stealing in here. They're fighting out there."
The owner of the recycling center, Jamie Prince said at the meeting Saturday that he wasn't aware of the community's concerns, which was met with growls from the audience.
Prince said he recently received a letter from the property's owner, but that it was not an eviction notice and he will continue to be open for business.
Assemblymember Gloria, who represents this district where the center is located, said to tackle the issue, San Diego's homeless crisis needs to be addressed.
"We have work to do on recycling and we can do that but this is not going to get better if we don't address the homelessness issue," Gloria said.
Earlier this month, Point Loma residents circulated a petition to have the recycling center relocated.
"We want it relocated to an industrial safe space, away from our schools, away from our community kids, our residents," Margaret Marie Virissimo told NBC 7. "We want our community safe and clean."
Cal Recycle, a state agency, told NBC 7 it does not control where a recycling center is located but does regulate the centers, which are privately-owned businesses.
A spokesperson with Cal Recycle said a recycling center must be located within a half-mile of a business that sells CRV (California Redemption Value) containers, with gross annual sales of at least $2 million otherwise, that business will be fined $100 a day.
Gloria said he met with representatives from CalRecycle this week to discuss ways in which they can relocate the center while also following state guidelines.