Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills That Thar Poop

San Francisco has a poop problem.  I know everyone has heard that.  The city gets an average of 65 complaints every day about poop in the streets: 14,597 calls placed to 311 between January 1 and August 13, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, making one of the most expensive cities in the US among the worst in the world for cleanliness and hygiene.  That's not even counting the discarded needles.  According to Business Insider, the city plans to respond with what's being called 'the Poop Patrol'.
Starting next month, a team of five employees from the Department of Public Works will take to the streets of San Francisco's grittiest neighborhood, the Tenderloin, in a vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner. They will ride around the alleys to clean piles of poop before citizens have a chance to complain about them, the Chronicle reported.
ZeroHedge reports that the poop patrol will be fairly lucrative work: the city has allocated over $100 Million to fix things. 
After quoting Mayor Breed, who acknowledges, “We’re spending a lot of money to address this problem,” the following San Francisco Public Works budget items are presented:
  • A $72.5 million-a-year street cleaning budget
  • $12 million a year on what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments
  • $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the camps and remove any biohazards
  • $2.3 million for street steam cleaners
  • $3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets
  • $364,000 for a four-member needle team
  • An additional $700,000 set aside for a 10-member, needle cleanup squad, complete with it’s own minivan
And crucially, there's now "the new $830,977-a-year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human waste."

The SF Chronicle casually notes in parenthesis, "By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits."
What would they have to pay you to clean up poop all day?  $71,760 with full city benefits, probably including retirement, all the insurances (health care, dental, etc.) and ample holidays might sound pretty good.  Most people don't end up getting paid 2-1/2 times their pay in benefits.  I'm sure they're generous benefits.  If you have no particular skills, this might be the best pay you'll ever get.  In fact, even if you have a decent job, this might be the best pay you'd ever get. 

It begs the question of whether one can live on $71,670/year in San Fransicko.  A 2015 article on Investopedia makes me think it's possible.

A snapshot of a poop map, from KFI AM640.  Actually rather old data, 2015, so it's probably much worse now.

Like most of you, I have ideas about how to permanently solve this issue without spending $100 Million a year, but those ideas would get me accused of being a Hatey McHater just hating on those poor, innocent homeless people.  With worse hygiene habits than the slums of Calcutta or Rio de Janeiro.


  1. I'll bet even a PhD in scatology doesn't make that much money a year.

  2. $71K/yr in Frisco means you'll be living in a slum in Oakland, and dodging bullets on the way to and from the car. if it's not up on blocks in the morning.

    Or else you'd be living in one of the homeless camps.

    What's left of $71K/yr after taxes, in Frisco, is your annual rent. If you wanted to eat or anything, that'd require a second job.

  3. But as alluded, you could clean the problem up for far less than $71K/yr...spent on ammo.

    1. Hatey McHater.

      Most of my thoughts involved the words 'belt' and 'fed'. Judicious application would discourage far more.

  4. The poop situation has splashed all over San Fran since they outlawed the free shopping bags that all stores included in any purchase. So, they reduced the free range plastic blowing in the wind, and replaced it with this health concern. And, since they set the agenda for all the other Lefty hotspots in CA, they have caused this growing problem to spread far and wide. "Unintended Consequences", the unofficial political motto of the Dems. They should TradeMark it.

    1. Hadn't thought of that aspect, but it sure seems like an answer. Trade one problem for another: plastic for biohazard.

  5. Pressure washers to clean up. I presume that the poop goes into the sewers. I presume sewers drain into bay, untreated. Unintended consequences.

    1. My wife was saying that last night. They're probably storm drains that drain into the bay, not so-called sanitary sewers that drain into the sewage system.

  6. While I'm sure that one COULD live in San Fran for $71k a year, I doubt one would WANT to.
    Most of the big cities in our country are so expensive and so crazy I wouldn't consider living there.
    A while ago I had an opportunity for a promotion to headquarters, in Virginia right outside of Washington DC. It would have been a promotion of $25,000 a year - I would have had to spend $20,000 a year more than I do now for housing and I would have gone from significant acreage and privacy to an apartment for the money; I decided it wasn't worth it.

  7. It begs the question of whether one can live on $71,670/year in San Fransicko.

    Sure! Just poop on the streets. Poop patrol is the new WPA. Gives new meaning to 'We Piddle Around'.

    Pressure washers? Let's put droplets in the air and have everybody on the block breath it.

  8. Denver is considering opening all the city's parks for the "homeless" to use as campsites.

    I think they should take a trip to SF and see how well that's working out.....

  9. An enterprising group shop owners should clean up the poo and dump it on the steps of city hall.

  10. 12 gauge buckshot is a lot cheaper.