In San Francisco, ever the poster child city for leftist leadership run amok, city officials are considering dropping more than $500,000 to design and create 15 prototypes of new trash can designs that will keep vandals and homeless individuals from scavaging through the city’s waste.
“They pick the lock, they dump the whole can on the street and then… sort through the things they want while the garbage is either on the sidewalk or out on the street,” explained San Francisco’s acting public works director of the smelly situations caused by dumpster divers.
While it ranks below the excess amount of human feces on streets and sidewalks — for which San Francisco became infamous — in terms of putrid public problems, spending more than half a million dollars on new prototypes is an interesting expenditure of taxpayers’ money as there are almost certainly existing trash cans that could be tested in SF at a lower price-per-can.
Never mind, though, the Public Works Department insists “this is really the best way to do it because it will allow us to troubleshoot and get the best unit cost in the long run.”
While there are sure to be other cities that have dealt with similar trash scavenger issues and subsequently developed models of trash cans that address such problems, San Francisco is apparently not going to settle for anyone else’s trash bins.
“the main reason it’s so expensive is because San Francisco worked with a designer on custom-made prototype that would be cheaper when mass produced.”
Apparently no trash can in the world was good enough for us.
We needed our *own* custom-designed, $20k each trash cans.
— Michelle Tandler (@michelletandler)
Not everyone in the Golden City is sold on the expenditure for scavenger- and vandal-proof trash cans though. City Supervisor Matt Haney remarked that he “saw the line item said 15 of them for $300,000? That is an extraordinary cost per can.”
Which trash can would you pick for San Francisco?
Vote here: https://t.co/SZnBXPaYo3 pic.twitter.com/7jOajHhyLs
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle)
Officials with the Department of Public Works have pointed out that the cost per trash can is high for the initial prototypes, but that the eventual winning design will cost the city between $3,000 and $4,000 per can, of which it will order roughly 3,000 to be placed on city streets next year. That means San Francisco is looking at spending a minimum of $9 million and as much as $12 million — just to have places for San Franciscans to put their trash where other San Franciscans cannot rummage through it.
These expenditures for new first-of-their-kind trash containers come as most San Francisco residents’ minds are on issues other than the homeless population’s ability to dig through trash. It was recently announced that the city’s six Target stores — the only city in which such a decision has been made — would alter their operating hours to close early due to increasingly brazen incidents of shoplifting. Drug use and overdoses continue to plague the city. Violent crime, like in most cities, is also on the rise.
Absolute lawlessness in San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/DRUiW6iuZX
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom)
Perhaps — when scenes like these are becoming the norm in a city — leaders should consider spending more on law enforcement and public safety projects, and less on fancy new trash cans.