San Francisco

San Francisco Is Spending $750,000 on a 'Poop Patrol'

The city's gotten more than 14,500 crap complaints since the start of the year.

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Azurita/Dreamstime.com

San Francisco's streets are full of poop. They're so dirty, in fact, that the city is spending $750,000 on a "Poop Patrol" to take care of human and animal waste before residents complain.

The city already tried to tackle the issue by setting up 22 public "Pit Stop" toilets at various points downtown. But the Pit Stop program has not fully eliminated the problem. Since the start of 2018, the city has received 14,597 poop complaints, Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Instead of waiting for residents to complain, San Francisco is trying to get ahead of the problem. "What we are trying to do is be proactive," Nuru told KGO-TV, the local ABC affiliate. "So we'll have a crew that will roam around looking for locations. We actually have data for neighborhoods where we get frequent calls."

The Public Works Department will set aside a team of six staffers—five employees and one supervisor, plus two trucks—to scour the streets. The Poop Patrol program, which will cost at least $750,000, officially starts next month. Depending on how things go, the city could decide to expand it, local Fox affiliate KTVU reports.

The idea for a Poop Patrol grew out of a conversation between Nuru and San Francisco Mayor London Breed about how best to clean up the streets. "I've been talking to the Department of Public Works director on a regular basis, and I'm like, 'What are we going to do about the poop?'" Breed told the Chronicle.

It's no secret that San Francisco has struggled to keep its streets clean. In March, KNTV, the local NBC affiliate, published the results of an investigation into the city's "diseased streets." The station surveyed an area encompassing 153 downtown blocks and found 300 piles of feces and at least 100 drug needles.

The city has sunk a lot of money into cleaning the streets, KNTV reports:

San Francisco spent $65 million on street cleaning last year and plans to add nearly $13 million in additional spending over the next two years. Nuru has estimated that half of his street cleaning budget has gone toward cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks.

Although the Poop Patrol seems like a novel idea, San Francisco previously set aside $750,000 for a program to remove used needles from the streets, which began in April.

Pouring money into the problem won't fix the root cause of San Francisco's dirty streets: homelessness. To get people off the streets and into homes, more homes would need to be built, something that bureaucracy and senseless regulations have made all too difficult in the City by the Bay.

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57 responses to “San Francisco Is Spending $750,000 on a 'Poop Patrol'

  1. Jack up the price of dog licenses. Slap a tax on dog food. Require a permit to walk a dog. Someone can figure out a way to make the owners of the poop-machines pick up the tab.

    1. It’s not dogs that are doing it, it’s bums.

      1. I’m sure they could find people willing to put collars on the bums and take them for walks too. It is San Francisco after all.

      2. Jack up the price of bum licenses, then! Dammit, we’re going to jack up the price of something!

    2. Perhaps Sevo should consider starting a puppy poop removal business and somehow persuade the town mothers to grant him a city-wide monopoly.

  2. When a city with one the highest cost of livings in the world is host to a renewal of 18th century diseases like Typhoid and Plague because of all the human shit on the street.

    1. Socialism is an equal opportunity infection

  3. THEY DAMN WELL BETTER BE COMPOSTING AND NOT JUST THROWING IT OFF THE SIDE OF GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE BECAUSE IT WILL GET CAUGHT IN THE SUICIDE PREVENTION NET.

  4. Pouring money into the problem won’t fix the root cause of San Francisco’s dirty streets: homelessness. To get people off the streets and into homes, more homes would need to be built, something that bureaucracy and senseless regulations have made all too difficult in the City by the Bay.

    Lack of housing is not what causes “homelessness”. If you can’t afford a home in one city, you can always go to a place where you can. That is how economies work. A shortage of something in one place causes consumers to look for it in another place.

    People are homeless because they want to be and would rather stay in San Fransisco and live in the street than go somewhere where they could afford to have a home. Why is that? Because San Fransisco hands out welfare and food and makes life on the street there easier than getting a job and working for a living somewhere else. As RC Dean always said, you get more of what you reward. And San Fransisco rewards being a bum, so they have attracted a lot of bums.

    The homeless problem has nothing to do with San Fransisco’s admittedly idiotic zoning laws and the resulting housing shortage. Just stop it with this nonsense.

    1. What happened to R C? I haven’t seen him post here in quite some time.

      1. He went over the Glibertarians I think.

        1. Yes, he did – IIRC, it was his pretty public and vocal disavowal of the site and announcement that he wouldn’t be posting here anymore, at least for a while, that started the biggest wave of defections. He was one of the people who had me over there for a bit, as I appreciate his thoughts on things, but I got tired of what an echo-chamber the Glibs turned into.

          1. One thing about this place, it is not an echo-chamber.

          2. I miss RC a lot. RC, Pro Libertate, and Fluffy were all three really interesting commenters and all have left. It is a shame.

            1. I think Pro Lib recently posted here. I hope he is doing well with his health.

              John, you and Fluffy had some real knock-down back and forths. I wonder if he still thinks its a good idea, from a libertarian perspective, for libertarians to get all the public sector bennies they can. Didn’t he use to argue in favor of that?

              1. I don’t remember. He was really sharp on a lot of things. His takedown of Keynesian economics was utterly brilliant. I steal that all the time. One of his big blind spots was Trayvon Martin. He hated Zimmerman and thought Martin was a pure as the driven snow.

                1. Yes, he was very sharp.

                  I remember his Keynesian critiques, but do not recall his Trayvon position.

                  He used to go at with Joe from Lowell quite a bit. Do you remember? My memory is that Fluffy took him down most of the time – of course, I am biased.

    2. You nailed it John. Seattle is doing the same thing. More welfare is supposed to be the solution, but it literally is the problem. They can’t even convince bums to move into their housing projects because they’re so comfortable with their current lifestyle that the city enables with free shit.

      This is why private charity will always be superior to government charity. They have an incentive to weed out the parasites of choice and focus on the truly needy.

    3. “”As RC Dean always said, you get more of what you reward.”‘

      I think that’s the bigger reason on why NYC’s homeless population exploded. I think they are coming from other cities and states to get the gold level treatment.

    4. “Lack of housing is not what causes “homelessness”. If you can’t afford a home in one city, you can always go to a place where you can. That is how economies work. A shortage of something in one place causes consumers to look for it in another place.”

      To which you can add that SF spends some $240m/yr attracting bums, so the $750K is a rounding error.

    5. I make a damn good living down in San Jose, but no fucking way could I afford to live in San Fransisco. The prices are absolutely crazy. Insane. I do not know how middle class folk handle it in that city. Going through on the train I see lots of middle class houses stacked together, but I can’t imagine how anyone can afford them. My guess is that no one owns and they all live off of rent control.

      If I ever become homeless the very first thing I would do would be to move to an affordable city where I had a chance to get back on my feet. The last thing I would do would be to move to the second highest cost of living city in the universe.

  5. San Francisco Is Spending $750,000 on a ‘Poop Patrol’

    I will say this, San Fran is doing something right. It cost Seattle $95,000 just to hire someone to schedule trash pickup at the homeless camps. It’s a $6.50 an hour job, but we got it for nearly six figures.

    Also, what’s cool is these cities fuck everything up with their policies, then they have to hire people to maintain the problem. It’s fucking genius.

    1. The towns and cities around Seattle must love the city for taking all of their bums and troublemakers. What a deal.

      1. By towns and cities around Seattle taking all of their bums, you’re talking about Salt Lake, Houston and the Twin Cities, right?

        1. Well, unlike California where all the cities behave just like San Francisco, Seattle is pretty much an island in a sea of ordinary folk. Ditto for Portland. Both Washington and Oregon are fairly conservative states outside those two cities.

    2. It works until the problem gets out of hand and their tax cattle move on to greener pastures. Several cities are in a sprint race to be the next Detroit.

      1. If San Fransisco were anywhere but on some of the best real estate in the world, it would already be Detroit.

        1. There’s a native Californian I met this year who relocated, for family reasons, to Mass. He is an old-style hippie / liberal who is now more of a miserable James Kunstler type who despises the young proggies.

          At any rate, he hates what has become of California. There have to be more like him.

          How about Tucker Carlson? There’s not a week that goes by where he doesn’t rue what has happened to his native California.

          1. Victor Davis Hanson is another. California in the 50s and 60s had to have been paradise. I hate the progs so much for fucking it up. Can’t they ever fuck up a place that sucks?

            1. Its a shame. Particularly for some of us nativist gringos who grew up idolizing California.

            2. Nope. The cycle goes:

              Strong men –> Capitalism –> Comfortable living –> Weak men –> Socialism –> Destitute living –> Strong men…

              If we can figure out how to stop producing socialists from the successes of capitalism, only then can we break the cycle.

            3. Who was the California governor at the end of the ’60’s? I guess he was terrible!

              1. Well, that governor should have been with Duke Wayne on the Panama Canal matter.

  6. >>>San Francisco spent $65 million on street cleaning last year

    $65 gazillion < Serial Poopers

  7. Good thing they banned candy-flavored vape juice, wouldn’t want the smell of cotton candy or apple pie jarring the senses away from the ambiance of human feces.

  8. “Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.”

    -Benjamin Franklin, May 9, 1753

    1. Put another way: no more gimme dats for the 47%.

    2. Wisdom.

      Most people will do the bare minimum to have a comfortable living. The rare person with ambition is the exception. The average person will not work, accumulating work skills (human capital, the pathway out of poverty) unless a fire under their feet compels them. For many, it’s family. But some people have nothing. You give them enough to meet their basic needs and there is no fire left, so they have no need to develop human capital. Incentives drive behavior.

  9. San Francisco’s streets are full of poop. They’re so dirty, in fact, that the city is spending $750,000 on a “Poop Patrol” to take care of human and animal waste before residents complain.

    The scary thing is I knew human waste was part of the problem as soon as I read “San Francisco”.


  10. San Francisco’s streets are full of poop. They’re so dirty, in fact, that the city is spending $750,000 on a “Poop Patrol” to take care of human and animal waste before residents complain.

    Lets be honest, it’s mostly human.

  11. “The city’s gotten more than 14,500 crap complaints since the start of the year.”

    Do these include the current makeup of the municipal administration?

  12. i’m thankful for a number of things about living in Iowa, but I never thought “we don’t have shit in our streets” would be on the list.

    1. I spent a year working in Des Moines, and it was a great place. It has actually crossed my mind to retire there out of California.

  13. I’m told – by at least one commenter here – that San Fransisco is the greatest city in the United States, even the world. It must be great, or else why would people tolerate the high taxes used to encourage the homeless and drug addicts to congregate there from all over the country *and then* used to pay to clean up the mess they make.

    1. The emperor had no clothes

  14. The poop-in-the-streets problem is migrating south, and indeed infecting all of California. The source of the poop is evident: homeless people who squat on the sidewalks. San Francisco does nothing about this. Homeless people are treated as a protected class. Not just by the city governments, but by the culture of the Bay Area as a whole. Telling a homeless person to move on, or to use a restroom, is met with reactionary shock and disgust.

    In the past two years homelessness has exploded in California. In an economy that hasn’t slumped and instead is doing better. At least in techie California. And I posit that it exploded not because the economy is bad and people are stumbling into hardships, but because the economy is *good* and homeless people are merely going where the money is. This is exacerbated by California’s refusal to do anything about homelessness.

    I have nothing against the homeless people themselves. Rather it’s the acceptance of the permanent homeless lifestyle. We’ve always had homelessness. We’ve had it for thousands of years. But that doesn’t mean we celebrate it as a life choice. There are homeless encampments on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods. One has to step over sleeping homeless and their dogs to get into upscale grocery stores.

    I’m not a fan of Trump, I loathe the man. But I predict right here that the property owners in California are going to revolt and tell the hand wringing progressives to fuck off and vote them all out.

    1. Vote them all out?

      Will. Never. Happen.

  15. San Francisco Mayor London Breed

    He’s bred from the same stock as Kahn?

    There’s a Eugenics Wars joke in there somewhere.

    1. *she

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