SAN FRANCISCO—With the city’s homeless statistics on the rise, abandoned garbage has become a perpetual problem on the streets of San Francisco. In an effort to minimize the deterioration of the city’s public image and decrease amounts of trash on the streets, local organizations have taken the initiative to clean sidewalks, clear human waste, dispose used syringes, and break down abandoned remains from homeless encampments.
As the city’s population continues to cause widespread gentrification and expedite major construction projects, many homeless camps have been broken apart, forcing many of the city’s homeless inhabitants to leave areas that have long served as bases for their belongings. The increasing mounds of abandoned garbage have left many residents concerned if the city is taking enough steps to keep the streets clean.
Spearheading citywide street cleaning initiatives has largely tackled by the San Francisco Public Works, an organization that contributes to making San Francisco a beautiful, safe, and sustainable city. Public Works’ supervisor, David Johnwell, leads his team through some of the dirtiest streets of San Francisco, and reportedly picks up seven-tons of trash every day.
On many days, the team says they leave streets they had cleaned the day before, only to return and find them to be in the same condition. The organization agrees that the issue requires a service greater than what public works or police enforcement can provide.
A proposed budget that would allocate nearly $3 million to residential cleaning programs around Chinatown, the Mission District, SoMa and the Civic Center is still awaiting approval. The budget would allow for around 20 new hires to clean alleyways near developing residential and professional residences, which currently have no scheduled plans to be cleaned.