More people are pooping on streets in San Francisco than ever before.
The San Francisco Gate reported that the number of reports of human feces on the street has increased from 5,500 in 2011 to 28,000 in 2018.
Government watchdog group Open the Books tweeted about the “brownout” problem in the city, sharing a graph of the increase. The organization also plotted the number of reported public pooping incidents on a map of the city. The data, which was covered in a piece published by Forbes, revealed that since 2011, there have been at least 118,352 reports of human poop on city streets.
The number of reports last year reportedly reached an “all-time high” at 28,084. The first quarter of 2019 was reportedly on pace with that number with a reported 6,676 cases of poop on the street.
The Gate also noted that the chart included only documented reports of poop spotted on the streets, indicating that the actual amount is most likely higher than the graph suggests since many people who see poop may simply not report it.
The situation is so bad that the city implemented a street housecleaning effort last year with its own poop patrol to get things under control.
Mayor London Breed told the San Francisco Chronicle that she was committed to cleaning up the streets. In August of last year, the Chronicle reported that the city’s public works department had a yearly budget of $72.5 million that included $12 million on “what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments.”
Lately there has been a brownout in the Bay Area… Since 2011, there have been at least 118,352 reported instances of human fecal matter on city streets. @ForbesOpinion https://t.co/4nzW2iNLvf pic.twitter.com/4itldSUafq
— OpenTheBooks (@open_the_books) April 17, 2019
A breakdown of the city’s cleaning budget showed $2.8 million for workers to wash down street encampments and remove any biohazards, $2.3 million to steam-clean the streets, $3.1 million for portable toilets, and $830,977 for a “Poop Patrol” whose job it is to locate and clean up human waste.
In 2017, the city’s public works department unveiled a new “Painted Lady” line of portable bathrooms that look like Victorian homes, CNBC reported. Created by the Pit Stop program, the idea behind the bathrooms was to create an inviting place for people to take care of their business while also helping keep the streets clean.
San Fransisco’s dirty streets stem primarily from its homeless population, which is another growing problem that the city is attempting to address. San Francisco ranks third in the nation in homelessness after New York City and Los Angeles.
According to a report released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the estimated cost to end homelessness in the city would be $12.7 billion, and that’s not counting the billions already used to serve the needy.