Analyst: San Francisco spent $35 million a year to remove trash from streets

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ByCarolyn Tyler KGO logo
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Analyst: SF spent $35 million a year to remove trash from streets
A new analysis shows San Francisco spends more money to clean up its streets than bigger cities like Chicago.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dirty streets and sidewalks are one of the biggest complaints of people who live and work in San Francisco, yet a recent analysis shows San Francisco spends substantially more money than most other large cities on the effort to keep them clean.

The analyst compared San Francisco to 11 other cities, which allocate on average $8 million a year to clean their streets and sidewalks.

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San Francisco spends four times as much per capita as Chicago, which at 277 square miles is nearly five times larger. San Francisco spends three times as much as Los Angeles, and substantially more than its neighbor to the south, San Jose.

The analyst points out that San Francisco shells out more bucks, but gets more in return.

"We measured five core services and in the other cities none of them provided all the services multiple times a week like San Francisco, so it's a higher level of service," Fred Brousseau, Director of Policy Analysis said.

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Those core services include power washing, cleaning up homeless encampments and responding to complaints. When it comes to service calls, which is another factor contributing to the higher costs, San Francisco is way out front answering 77,000 calls last year.

No one can deny, many city streets remain dirty despite a 24 hour, 365 day a year operation. Mayor London Breed believes the solution will take more than money.

"It's about loving our city. it's about taking pride in our city, cleaning up our city," Breed said.