SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Point Loma Heights recycling center has become the center of a heated debate for residents.
Saturday, locals came out to protest the center and call for its relocation, claiming it brings trash and crime to their neighborhood – leading to an angry confrontation.
The recycling center has sat next to Stump’s Groceries for about five years. For the past two years, residents claim they have seen an increase in crime and noise complaints.
The demonstrators want to see the facility relocated out of their neighborhood to a location in San Diego's Midway District.
"People are being woken up by glass being broken, homeless doing drugs in this complex, they got young kids and you got needles here, guys exposing themselves, so its more of a health and safety matter," Jon Linney, chair of the Peninsula Planning Board, told 10News.
But the issue is complicated by state law, which requires this area to have a recycling center.
The center's owner, James Prince, said even if the business was moved the grocery store would have to accept recycling or pay a fine.
Prince calls the whole argument a "class war."
"I feel like this is, if they want to put it in a blue bin, that’s fine, but see these men, they want their money back for the CRV they paid," Prince said.
The protesters said they have reached out to local lawmakers Assemblyman Todd Gloria and City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to change the regulations so that the recycling center can be relocated – but they say they haven't heard back.
A petition on Change.org calling for the center's relocation has gained more than 800 supporters.