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Environmental group calls out scooter company over e-scooters in Bay

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San Francisco Baykeeper has called on at least one e-scooter company to clean up scooters thrown into the Bay. (courtesy photo)

Unknown perpetrators have thrown at least two electric motor scooters into San Francisco Bay, according to an environmental watchdog group.

San Francisco Baykeeper, a nonprofit guarding the bay from pollution since 1989, recently held e-scooter company Lime to task on social media, asking the company to retrieve its scooter from the Bay’s shoreline.

“Requests to @limebike to have it removed were ignored,” Baykeeper wrote on Twitter. “Scooters contain batteries & other harmful e-waste — You need to do better, @limebike!”

Sejal Choksi-Chugh, executive director of SF Baykeeper, told me the group was aware of two Lime scooters thrown into the bay. The person who first spotted the scooters tried reporting them to Lime, she said. That person, who wished not to be named, shared emails with the San Francisco Examiner dating back to May 17 asking the company to retrieve one scooter from the water along the Embarcadero.

Though Lime representatives replied to the request, they did not retrieve the scooter.

“Hey. It’s still there. What’s up with that? It’s been there at least 48 hrs. Longer I’m sure. Might be high tide, but inexcusable and irresponsible,” the person complaining to Lime wrote.

After a week the man who filed the complaint pulled the scooter out himself with a hook.

A Lime spokesperson did not return calls requesting comment. The Port of San Francisco told the Examiner they were not aware of other incidents of scooters being thrown into the Bay.

This is only the latest incident in The City’s ongoing scooter conflict, as some Bay Area citizens decry the scooter companies for allowing their rentable two-wheelers to be parked in walkways, and ridden on sidewalks. Social media is rife with photos of scooters hanging from trees, sticking halfway out of trash cans, and with their wires clipped.

This isn’t even the first time the electric motor scooters have been dumped in bodies of water, as they’ve also been thrown into Lake Merrit repeatedly, KPIX previously reported.

Though Baykeeper was critical of Lime on social media, Choksi-Chugh said it’s important to also decry the actions of those throwing scooters into the Bay.

“Even if you have a political statement to make,” she said, “the Bay is not a trash can. It’s not a dumpster.”

Lime spokesperson Joe Arellano wrote, in a statement, “For the sake of the environment, we ask that people refrain from this type of behavior, treat our products appropriately and with respect to the surrounding community … Vandalism of this nature hurts riders, residents and the Bay.”

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