Just before Independence Day, the corner of Polk and Cedar in downtown San Francisco, California, suffered a vandalism act that weighed 20 pounds. The New York Post reported that the street corner had 20 pounds of excrement that was believed to be human dumped on the sidewalk. A clear bag was used to hold the waste, yet much of it appeared to have spilled out onto the sidewalk, as well as the street.
Reports were apparently pouring into the city’s customer service line and its phone app for identifying crimes as residents and tourists alike spotted the abandoned poop, says the San Francisco Gate.
Although the city’s Department of Public Works came forward and stated that the giant bag of waste was removed from the street corner eventually, officials did not bother taking a DNA sample to determine if the feces were animal or human. Rachel Gordon, serving as spokesperson for the city’s Department of Public Works, told newspaper reporters that while she and the city did not know whether the waste was from people or dogs, she was glad that it was all in one place.
“I don’t know the source. It could be people. It could be dogs. It could have been picked up from the street. It could have been from someone’s house.”
One Reddit user, @tusi2, posted an image to the social media forum of the offending bag of poop, which was highly visible due to the container being clear. In the post, @tusi2 used the headline, “The ’20 pounds’ of poop at Polk and Cedar was still there as of 8PM. I’ll update at 10PM. (NSFW).” Some of the replies to the post were used as an opportunity to appear funny. However, one user commented back, saying, “This is peak SF right here.”
Another spokesperson for 311, Nancy Alfaro, cited that reports of human waste on the streets of San Francisco are common, although not “typically” in such large quantities. When questioned if there was a particular reason for the placement, Alfaro commented that she “has no idea” why the bag of poop was left in that particular neighborhood.
Complaints such as this seem to be spiking in San Francisco, according to the New York Post. In fact, there has been a 400 percent increase in the amount of human waste-related complaints in the city from the year 2008 through 2018, according to data from the city’s 311 system, cites the Post. In the year 2017 alone, more than 21,000 complaints were made, possibly due in part to the reportedly thousands of homeless people spread throughout the city, with no regular public restroom access, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.