Little Hollywood Has Had Enough!

"I was there..."


Little Hollywood's future site, c. 1915

Little Hollywood 1922 View southwest from above Hester Avenue near the end of Wheeler Avenue prior to development. Tunnel Avenue at right opensfhistory wnp27.4587.jpg

Little Hollywood 1922—View southwest from above Hester Avenue near the end of Wheeler Avenue prior to development. Tunnel Avenue at right. The hill looming at left edge was destroyed to use as landfill for the 101 freeway and is where the main Recology trash transfer facility is today. In 1943 the government built housing in what was then called Candlestick Cove, later demolished to make way for the 101 freeway in the early 1950s, and then fully removed by the early 1960s.

Photo: wnp27.4587


Little Hollywood and southern Portola from McLaren Park, 2007.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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View east from McLaren Park over Little Hollywood and Bayview Hill, 2021.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

This is an excerpt from a letter sent by Little Hollywood's residents to Mayor Willie Brown, and published in San Francisco Bay View, January 24, 1997:

The following describes our community's prolonged concerns regarding dust, odors and other pollutants generated by the Norcal/Sanitary Fill Co. plant operation. The Norcal/Sanitary Fill Co. [today's Recology—ed.] is located immediately south of the Little Hollywood neighborhood.

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Right behind this image of Little Hollywood Park is the Recology artist-in-residence gardens where often excellent sculptures made of trash are featured. The olfactory proximity is unmistakable.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

In the last several years at our community meetings, our neighborhood has voiced several complaints to Norcal about dust and odors. Early last year, we wrote to the City of San Francisco and to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regarding our concerns. Since last year, there have been nearly 90 complaints filed by members of our community with the BAAQMD regarding dust and odors. As of this date it appears that very little has been done to eliminate the problems.

We believe that the planning, design, operation and maintenance of this plant are at best inadequate! We believe that there has been a blatant disregard for humanity due to the abuse our neighborhood has taken. Every operation at this plant creates dust and odors from the processing of waste matter, and the dust and odors are having an impact on our residents.

The problems have been occurring since the transfer station and public disposal became operational in 1972. The problems increased when the plant expanded in 1988 and 1989 with the addition of the recycling center, the bailing operation, and the hazardous waste facility. In 1995, the sort line was added. Some of the plant expansions were started under pilot programs. We are not aware of any environmental impact report addressing and evaluating the expansions. The City did not engage in any outreach programs with our community. We are wondering whether the City followed CEQA guidelines or was this a political decision? We find this very discriminatory!

The past expansions included moving some of Norcal's operations into old dilapidated buildings previously used by Ceco Steel. The buildings looked like they came out of World War II when Norcal moved in. These buildings were not up to code. They were not functional for their intended use. The minimum standards for occupancy should have included proper filtering and ventilation systems and sound proofing the facilities for noise abatement. Overall, the plant is a disgrace to our neighborhood, not only from an aesthetics viewpoint, but from an operations standpoint... It is someone else's turn to live near the dump! We believe that relocating all of the operations to another site would be the only way to achieve environmental equity!

—signed by Richard A. Lucas

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Closeup of a house in "Little Hollywood", with water cistern in street in foreground.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Little Hollywood, looking north along Tocoloma towards Bayview Hill.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

Tocoloma Ave Looking north to Bayview Hill 1940s opensfhistory wnp14.3458.jpg

Tocoloma Ave Looking north to Bayview Hill 1940s.

Photo: Opensfhistory wnp14.3458

Little-hollywood-statue-of-liberty-house 20211201 004717407.jpg

The iconic Statue of Liberty house in Little Hollywood.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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