Update, 7:50 a.m.: KGO radio reports some manner of explosion in the plant, releasing "white powder" and affecting 16 workers.
Update, 8:30 a.m.: No wonder Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge hasn't returned our calls -- she's on TV right now! She tells KTVU a box containing "some sort of irritant" burst open at the recycling facility. That triggered an evacuation of the factory-sized building a shade before 6:40 a.m.
Update, 9:05 a.m.: Fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says earlier reports of an "explosion" were not accurate. Rather, a cardboard box containing ammonium phosphate, a fertilizer, burst open on a conveyer belt. Twenty employees complained of eye irritation, and a dozen had their eyes flushed out by emergency personnel. One worker who complained of "itchy eyes" was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
The plant is getting ready to re-open after nearly three hours of evacuation.
Recology spokesman Robert Reed said 55 employees were working within the 200,000 square foot building at the time of the incident.
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly