San Francisco Streets Have Human Feces Problem (Video)


San Francisco is known as a popular tourist attraction, but most outsiders may not be aware that it has a human feces problem.

There are two crews that steam clean the streets of the city 24-hours-a-day during weekdays (video below).

"Last fiscal year we had 8,502 steamer requests," San Francisco Department of Public Works (DWP) spokeswoman Rachel Gordon told "This year, through May 5, we've had 5,585, the majority of which pertain to urine and human defecation."

City Supervisor Scott Wiener says the DWP requests funds to get more workers from the mayor's office.

"And every year they strike out," stated Wiener. "There are huge competing demands, which are important. But every year basic demands for cleaning and safety tend to go to the bottom of the barrel."

"After the 2008 recession, cleaning crews and landscaper staffs were decimated," added Wiener. "They have been gutted and never got restored."

The city did create a six-month pilot project in San Francisco's Tenderloin area. In three locations, there are "portable toilets and sinks, used needle receptacles and dog waste stations," noted the DWP in a press release.

However, the project will only last until Jan. 16, 2015.

Jennifer Friedenbach, the executive director of Coalition on Homelessness, recently told that there are only five public bathrooms in the Tenderloin area. She added that tourists and shoppers can often go in a hotel, but other people "get turned away because they are poor, and they are black. Human beings do not want to defect or urinate in public. It is not natural and they do so out of desperation because they have no where else to go."

Sources:, San Francisco Department of Public Works,


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