Why American city of San Francisco engulfed in Human Feces?
News by NRI Herald Australia, 18th January 2022
People aren’t pooping on the streets because they unlearned basic hygiene. Rather, the incidents reflect shameful levels of inequality in the San Francisco city
It’s an empirical fact: San Francisco is a crappier place to live these days. Sightings of human feces on the sidewalks are now a regular occurrence; over the past 10 years, complaints about human waste have increased 400%. People now call the city 65 times a day to report poop, and there have been 14,597 calls in 2018 alone. Last year, software engineer Jenn Wong even created a poop map of San Francisco, showing the concentration of incidents across the city.
New mayor London Breed said in 2018:
“There is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here.”
In a revolting recent incident, a 20lb bag of fecal waste showed up on a street in the city’s Tenderloin district.
A city covered in poop is so disgusting it has to be almost comical. But the uptick in street defecation is the symbol of a human tragedy. People aren’t pooping on the streets because they have suddenly forgotten what a bathroom is, or unlearned basic hygiene. The incidents are part of a broader failure of the city to provide for the basic needs of its citizens, and show the catastrophic, socially destructive effects of unchecked inequality.
It’s impossible to talk about street feces without talking about homelessness and housing. While there aren’t actually more homeless people than there have been in the past, the gentrification of San Francisco has had a severe effect on the homeless.
As per the article published by the US news portal the Guardian, Poop on the streets has another obvious cause: a lack of restroom access. Many businesses restrict their bathrooms to customers only, precisely because they don’t want their facilities to be frequented by the homeless. But the “privatization of bathrooms” means people are left without obvious places to go. There are even websites offering tips on how to go to the bathroom in San Francisco, such as by pretending to be interested in furniture at Crate & Barrel or finding the “hidden gem” of a bathroom on the second floor of a Banana Republic.
The city has installed 25 small self-cleaning public toilets and recently commissioned a set of futuristic-looking new bathrooms, but a few dozen toilets for a city of 870,000 is woefully insufficient. Bathroom access should be considered a basic right, and it’s worth considering the idea of banning “customers only” toilets. In a city with generous public spaces and a commitment to equal access, no one would ever have to use the street.