Mapping San Francisco’s Human Waste

Mapping San Francisco’s Human Waste

By many measures, San Francisco is a world-class city. It’s a tourist mecca that boasts 25 million visitors each year. It’s home to wonders of the modern world – the Golden Gate Bridge and its iconic cable cars – as well as powerful progressive politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Gavin Newsom, and U.S. Senator (and presidential hopeful) Kamala Harris.

The broader San Francisco Bay Area can also claim Silicon Valley and its booming economy.

But the city itself is in trouble. Today, San Francisco hosts an estimated homeless population of 7,500 people. Affluent sections of the city have become dangerous with open-air drug use, tens of thousands of discarded needles, and, sadly, human feces.

Since 2011, there have been at least 118,352 reported instances of human fecal matter on city streets.

New mayor, London Breen, won election by promising to clean things up. However, conditions are the same or worse. Last year, the number of reports spiked to an all-time high at 28,084. In first quarter 2019, the pace continued with 6,676 instances of human waste in the public way.

We reached out to San Francisco Mayor London Breen for comment regarding our findings and the continued trajectory of the human waste problem. This column will be updated with any response or comment.

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com plotted all reports of human waste since 2011 using latitude and longitude address coordinates of all cases closed by the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

Using our interactive map, just click a pin and scroll down to review the results (all closed cases by neighborhood) rendered in the chart beneath the map. Available data is the result of resident reporting to the city’s 311 dispatchers during the years 2011-2019.

San Francisco's human waste challenge 2011-2019: an interactive map with 118,352 cases.

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