Brace yourself, this story is about to get really crappy, really fast. Headlines throughout the summer have exposed San Francisco’s poop crisis, with vast amounts of feces blanketing its public streets.
After receiving thousands of complaints about the feces, city authorities have finally decided it’s time to do something about the mess. In only one week in July, over 16,000 complaints were recorded. The insane amount of feces is beginning to effect the $9 billion a year tourism business and the city was forced to cancel a $40 million major medical convention that was scheduled to be held there. “You can smell it,” says one tourist.
In turn, the new Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, who claimed to be “absolutely shocked” after she took a stroll through her city, established an official “poop patrol” to help clean up the toilet of a city.
When the city first unveiled the plan, it was described as a patrol consisting of a team of five staffers and a supervisor that would be donning protective gear and patrol the alleys around Polk Street and other sections of the city reffered to as “brown zones”. Staff will be searching for the poo and dispose of said poo using a special vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner and disinfectant.
In order “to be proactive,” in the words of the Public Works director, Mohammed Nuru, co-creator of the poop patrol initiative, the teams will begin their shifts in the afternoon spotting and cleaning piles of feces as they go.
The San Francisco Chronicle has revealed just how much each member of the “poop patrol” team will cost the city: $184,678 in salary and benefits.
Buried in the San Francisco Chronicle‘s story on Mayor London Breed’s morning walks along downtown streets with her staff is the breakdown of the San Francisco Public Works budget items:
- A $72.5 million-a-year street cleaning budget
- $12 million a year on what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments
- $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the camps and remove any biohazards
- $2.3 million for street steam cleaners
- $3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets
- $364,000 for a four-member needle team
- An additional $700,000 set aside for a 10-member, needle cleanup squad, complete with it’s own minivan
There’s crucially now “the new $830,977-a year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human waste.”
Causally mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle, “By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits.”
On August 14th, Nicole Malliotakis, member of the New York State Assembly and 2017 Republican Nominee for Mayor of NYC tweeted, “Sh*tty policies lead to sh*tty consequences. Just like Mayor de Blasio and the NY Crazy Council, San Francisco thought it was a good idea to decriminalize public urination and defecation. Now they have to spend nearly $1M to clean up poop.”
Sh*tty policies lead to sh*tty consequences. Just like Mayor de Blasio and the NY Crazy Council, San Francisco thought it was a good idea to decriminalize public urination and defecation. Now they have to spend nearly $1M to clean up poop. https://t.co/pjWNCVwMVO
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) August 14, 2018
Although the city’s giant $11.5 billion budget should be able to handle the expanding clean-up costs, that are sure to increase even more, how will the property owners, who are paying massive land and sales tax (which have mounted over the past few years) react?
With only a few spots available on the new poop patrol team, and a salary and benefits package nearing $200K, shoveling poop on a professional basis doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to some.
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