Public outcry over neighborhood recycling centers fueling crime and homelessness in the City of Fresno has city leaders taking action. Recently this recycling center near Shields and West has come under fire from nearby residents because they say it’s attracting homeless people, drug activity, and crime.
The Fresno city manager says this is a citywide issue and right now city staff is working on changing zoning and updating ordinances to take recycling centers out of Fresno neighborhoods.
“the business itself is not my concern. My concern is the people it attracts,” said Fresno Resident Angel Gomez.
Near Shields and West in Central Fresno people are turning cans and bottles into quick cash. Residents in the area say it’s a problem.
“Not only do you have people buying drugs, but now you have drug dealers moving into the area after the money,” said Gomez.
It’s also drawing the homeless into nearby neighborhoods. Through community meetings residents, law enforcement, and city leaders crafted ideas.
“There’s been a number of folks that have come together over the last few months to try to figure out what do we do to address the situation,” said Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria.
Now, Fresno’s city manager says a citywide crackdown on recycling centers is coming
“We have worked with the city attorney’s office to come up with an amendment that will come before the council in January where the existing recycling centers they’ll be given six months to continue operating under the current standards,” said Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd.
By next summer recycling centers will likely be out of Fresno neighborhoods.
“They have to be in a building, not behind a building, they can’t work out of a cargo unit and we are also looking at from a zoning standpoint we can limit these centers to industrial areas,” said Rudd.
Along with drafting new city policy starting Monday the Fresno Police Department is adding three new officers to their homeless task force with a mission to crackdown on homeless encampments and property crime across the city.