San Francisco Celebrates 'National Public Works Week' -- By Dumping Tons of Crap on Streets

Categories: Local News
Bay to Breakers crap.jpg
Jim Herd
Post-race detritus in Golden Gate Park
You wouldn't waltz home on Mother's Day, toss Ma a steak, and demand she cook it up for you. Would you? You wouldn't clog up the toilet on Father's Day, hand Dear Old Dad the plunger, and put him to work?

And yet, on the first day of National Public Works Week -- an event actually created by President John F. Kennedy -- hordes of Bay to Breakers participants dumped tons of trash, effluvia, and other unmentionables on city streets for Public Works crews to scour.

DPW spokeswoman Christine Falvey said crews commenced scrubbing the streets at midnight on Sunday morning, left the starting line along with the last (drunkest) runners, and were finished by six hours after leaving the gate.

Unlike, say, the yearly Embarcadero pillow fight, the clean-up bill is not borne by the city. Race sponsor ING pays the tab. 

And how much is that tab?

Well, Falvey hasn't gotten that number crunched yet -- nor has Public Works tabulated the total tonnage of discarded bottles, cans, floats, and slumbering runners collected. Complicating matters, cleanup within Golden Gate Park's boundaries is handled by the Recreation and Park Department -- and SF Weekly's calls over there have not yet been returned.

In past years, cleanup costs have run nearly $50,000 to haul 35 tons of crap off city streets.

Anecdotally, however, DPW officials say there seem to be a lot fewer broken bottles this year than last. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

We'll let you know as soon as we've got the totals for how much detritus was collected and what the ensuing bill was.

Photo   |   Jim Herd

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