California Waste Solutions (CWS), a major recycling company that serves Oakland residents, has been working with the city to relocate its operations to the Oakland Army Base, shuttering its current facilities at 10th and Pine and 33rd and Wood streets.
“When CWS first opened its doors in 1992, West Oakland was underutilized and predominantly industrial. Now, it has become an attractive community to live, work, and do business,” explained Tasion Kwamilele, director of community Engagement at CWS.
The project has been in the works for the past eight years. CWS and the city of Oakland have entered into new Exclusive Negotiation Agreement, taking CWS one-step closer to making the new facility a reality.
CWS has until October to finalize city requirements to purchase the land and begin the design phase of the project.
Building a project of the magnitude of the new CWS facility is a complicated process. A lot of planning and documentation is required long before a shovel ever touches the ground.
Meanwhile, West Oakland residents have eagerly waited in anticipation for CWS to leave their neighborhood and grow a world class recycling center at the Army Base
“I understand the community’s frustration with how long it is taking to vacate our current facility. We are doing everything in our power to make sure our proposed state-of-the-art, 171,000- square-foot facility becomes a reality,” Kwamilele said.
“This means negotiating many regulatory issues to ensure that moving to the new location is economically feasible. No one can reasonably expect CWS to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new facility and make the move f they are not allowed to increase services to the City of Oakland,” Kwamilele added.
Last week, West Oakland residents and community leaders Margaret Gordon and Bri
an Beveridge of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project published an open letter supporting CWS’ move to the new location.
“We support the sale of land in the North Gateway to CWS and their investment in a clean, modern facility,” wrote Gordon and Beveridge.
CWS was founded by the Duong family, providing commercial and residential recycling services.
The Duong family were Vietnam refugees who moved to the Bay Area after the Vietnam war with nothing but a few personal belongings. They have built a successful recycling business and are committed to creating and maintaining union-based, good-paying jobs for Oakland residents.
The Duong’s own the land on which their current site sits. If all goes well in the negotiations, the company plans to repurpose the site for a use that is more compatible with the neighborhood that now exists.
“CWS has yet to agree on any development plans for its current site, but the Duong Family owns the land, and once they successfully relocate, I am certain the site will not be used for another recycling or industrial operation,” Kwamilele said.