News and Commentary

San Francisco City Officials Are Getting Nearly 80 ‘Poop Calls’ Per Day

San Francisco says the number of homeless encampments is down but that between July 1 and July 25, 2018, the city’s information service portal received around 2,000 calls about human feces on San Fran sidewalks — nearly 80 calls per day.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that city officials have touted a significant decrease in so-called “tent cities”; the city has managed to cut the number of homeless encampments by about half over the last two years. But the homeless that remain are more destructive than ever and most have turned down the offer of public housing.

During the month of July, the city’s 311 information and reporting hotline received plenty of calls about dangerous situations on San Francisco sidewalks. Of the more than 3,000 reports, 1,138 were about used syringes lying discarded in public areas and 1,948 were about “human feces or waste” — that’s an average of 78 calls about poop per day.

It’s also taking a toll on the city’s commitment to recycling and living impact free. San Francisco may have officially banned plastic straws, but they’re making up for what plastic they don’t use in drink delivery in used plastic syringes. Since April, “janitors have cleaned up more than 13,000 dirty needles left behind” at two major public transportation hubs in the city.

One Bay Area Rapid Transit station, the Civic Center station, produced 9,000 of the 13,000 needles.

To treat the problem, San Francisco’s new mayor is proposing “safe drug injections sites” where needles can be more easily collected. That probably won’t do much to curb the sidewalk poop, though.