SAN FRANCISCO - The problem of human waste in San Francisco is getting worse, according to a new report. City officials call it unacceptable and are working to clean it up.
Despite the six-person Poop Patrol's efforts, a team that was deployed in 2018 by Mayor London Breed, human waste continues to pile up on city sidewalks.
When David Hernandez came to live in San Francisco from Denver two years ago, he got a major surprise walking through San Francisco streets.
“It’s gross and its unappealing and it doesn’t make it a city that people want to come visit,” said David Hernandez, who moved to San Francisco two years ago.
What Hernandez is talking about is human feces the cover streets, something the registered nurse said he never saw growing up in Denver,
“It’s not uncommon to be walking around in any part of San Francisco and see a big pile of human feces. It seems terrible and it’s all over the place,” said Hernandez.
In San Francisco, which is dealing with a homeless population of around 8,000, this problem is getting worse, according to a study conducted by the website, Renthop.com.
The online rental company said that it sifting through data from S.F. 311 hotline and found a 35% increase in the number of feces complaints.
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney represents the Tenderloin District, a neighborhood which saw 3,000 calls to SF 311 for feces cleanup in 2018, which actually saw an 11% drop from the previous year.
“It's awful, it's unacceptable,” said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney. “People walk outside and there’s poop smeared all over the sidewalk. It’s completely unhealthy.”
In San Francisco, the report states there were 28,315 human/animal waste complaints last year, compared to just under 21,000 in 2017.
“We know that homelessness is getting worse in our city. We need much more urgent action on that,” Haney said on Thursday.
Part of that urgent action, Haney said, includes more portable bathrooms. San Francisco doesn't have enough of them. They're called "Pit Stops" but has seven more on order.
Until last year, none of the Pit Stops stayed open past 10 p.m. That changed back in August, when San Francisco Public Works staffed three of the restroom locations around the clock.
Haney wants to see more of them open 24-hours a day. "The thing is, it costs a lot of money to go all over the city and pick up poop, so why don't we just be more proactive and have bathrooms available and staffed and invest the money on the front end?" he said.
"I think that is a good idea," said Hernandez. "I think it's necessary and I think it would improve the current situation."
By comparison, New York City which has a population ten times that of San Francisco, has had just over 1,700 feces complaints so far in 2019.