SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday June 14, 2019 - 07:07:00 PM

Good Deeds with Your Old Duds

The world and its waters are awash with plastic. Big problem. And you know what else is a big pollution problem? Old clothes. Torn pants, "out-of-fashion" dresses, shirts with missing buttons or ink-stained pockets are all winding up in dumps and landfills and causing problems. 

Turns out there is a solution for clothing that is too worn or damaged to be donated to Good Will or Out of the Closet. Old duds can be donated to companies that turn the threadbare goods into new fabric. These fabric saviors accept any wearables that are fashioned from cotton, silk, and wool. (Polyester is not negotiable.) 

It's easy. There are a number of places where you can simply drop of your old closet-zombies. Here are a few: H&R in Emeryville (5630 Bay Street), the El Cerrito Recycling Center (7501 Schmidt), and Royal Robbins (841 Gilman in Berkeley: 527-1961). Bonus: If you donate to Royal Robbins, they will reward you with a card that's good for a 25% discount on a future purchase. 

How to Straighten Out SF's Crooked Street Mess 

Has anyone else made this proposal? There may be a simple way to iron out the congestion that currently defines Lombard Street's crowded and chaotic crookedness. 

No more tourist cars allowed. Instead, invite tourists and visitors to traverse Lombard on foot. Slow down and smell the roses. 

Instead of heading off in autos, visitors and tourists would board small buses in, say, the downtown area near the Powell St. turntable. The busses would drive to the top of Lombard where the passengers would disembark and proceed to amble down the street at their own pace. 

At the bottom there would be other small buses/vans waiting to take visitors back to the starting point. 

How to enforce this? Simple, and not too costly. Place an automatic gate at the top of Lombard—a gate that could be opened only by Lombard residents, using a remote, electronic signal activated from inside their own cars.