Newly elected Mayor London Breed says in one of her first interviews since taking office that San Francisco’s problems with human waste on city sidewalks are the worst she’s ever seen, reported KNTV.
“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told the station. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”
Breed encouraged charities and nonprofit agencies aiding the homeless to urge them to do more to keep the city’s streets clean, KNTV reported.
“What I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community — at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood,” Breed told the station.
Breed, 43, won a June 12 election to fill out the term of late mayor Edwin Lee, who died in December. She is the city’s first female African-American mayor.
Human waste, needles and other garbage on city streets has been a growing problem in recent months in the city, according to KPIX. The city’s hotel industry has been pressing for stronger police presence.
A medical association recently dropped plans for a $40 million convention in San Francisco over conditions in the city’s streets, Joe D’Alessandro with Travel SF told the station.
“They feel their safety is at risk because they are seeing so many people with issues,” Kevin Carroll of the San Francisco Hotel Council told KPIX.
In June, a Reddit user posted a photo of a 20-pound bag of feces left on a street corner in the city’s Tenderloin district, reported The San Francisco Chronicle. A city spokesperson confirmed receiving reports of the bag of waste.
Another Reddit user called it “the most atrocious smell I’ve ever smelled in San Francisco,” the publication reported.
A KNTV investigation in February found trash on every one of the 153 blocks surveyed, along with used needles and piles of feces. The station also found that reports of needles and feces to the city’s 311 hotline have steadily risen since 2008.
Dr Lee Riley, an infectious diseases expert at the University of California in Berkeley, told KNTV that parts of San Francisco may be dirtier than slums in some developing countries. “The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” Riley said.