Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reduce the number of garbage cans on The City’s streets has raised the ireof residents and some supervisors.
Since January, the Department of Public Works has removed about six percent — more than 300 — of The City’s approximately 5,000 trash cans, according to DPW data.
Newsom announced the program last week, noting that while it sounded counterintuitive, early results showed that fewer trash cans has resulted in less trash being put into the bins and onto the streets.
On Tuesday, Supervisor Jake McGoldrick requested a hearing to discuss the program, saying it was “unacceptable” to remove receptacles from main corridors, such as Geary Boulevard.
“Since these trash receptacles have been removed late last month, the Richmond district is increasingly littered with garbage,” McGoldrick said, noting that he has received complaints from residents and businesses in his district about the trash can removals.
DPW spokeswoman Christine Falvey confirmed that 47 trash cans have been removed from McGoldrick’s district, mainly along Geary and Clement Street.
“We believe it will keep the neighborhood cleaner. If that’s not the case, we’ll put them back,” Falvey said.
Having many trash cans spaced at regular intervals has encouraged businesses and residents to use the receptacles for bags of everyday garbage, resulting in overflowing trash cans, according to a DPW study. San Francisco has more trash cans per person than other big cities, 64 per 10,000 residents, double New York City’s ratio.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano said some of the residents he represents, particularly those in the Mission, are “pissed off” at the trash can removal. Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said the program, at this stage, is only a study. “Let’s give it time to work,” he said.
District 2 resident Tricia Principe, who said she’s a Newsom supporter, sent a letter to the mayor Saturday, saying she hoped he’d reconsider the trash can program.
“People are less likely to throw their trash on the ground if a garbage can is close in sight,” she wrote.
District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty said the program has him “conflicted” between his desire to be responsive to his constituents’ stated concerns about trash cans being removed and his support for the Department of Public Works.
“I personally weigh in on the side of my constituents,” Dufty said. “But I’m trying to give my colleagues at DPW the benefit of the doubt, for some period.”
More than 300 trash cans have been removed from street corridors citywide, including:
» Clement Street
» Geary Boulevard
» Chestnut Street
» Grant Avenue
» Irving Street
» Divisadero Street
» Mission Street
» West Portal Avenue
» Chenery Street
» Third Street
» Ocean Avenue
– Source: Department of Public Works
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