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PRESS RELEASE - SF Launches "Yes We Can!" Pilot to Fight Litter - 4/4/2017

For immediate release: April 4, 2017

Contact: Rachel Gordon, 415-554-6045



The City Doubles the Number of Sidewalk Garbage Cans on Mission Street


San Francisco, CA –Public Works, in partnership with Mayor Ed Lee and District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, today rolled out the Yes We Can! pilot program in the Mission District to make more trash cans available. The goal: Reduce litter.

The City installed an additional 38 new garbage cans along the Mission Street corridor between 14th and Cesar Chavez streets, for a total of 73 cans. Public Works will track, through 311 service requests and on-site evaluations, whether the additional receptacles result in less litter and fewer complaints. Yes We Can! will expand to other neighborhoods if the Mission Street experiment proves successful.

“It is one of our top priorities to keep our streets and neighborhoods clean and livable,” said Mayor Lee. “To help maintain the beautiful nature of our city, we continue to explore different strategies, such as the Fix-It initiative and the Yes We Can! pilot program, to help our thriving and active corridors.”

While it may seem counterintuitive, past experience has found that garbage cans actually can add to the litter problem when scavengers rummage through them and scatter the unwanted trash on the sidewalk. The street cans also can become magnets for illegal dumping when people place their household or business trash in and around them instead of paying for the legally required refuse pickup at their properties.

Because of the problems, the City removed more than 1,000 public trash cans from the sidewalks a decade ago. There now are some 3,200 sidewalk cans.

“Our aim with Yes We Can! is to find the sweet spot that provides more places for people to dispose of their trash properly, while not adding to the litter problem with people using the cans inappropriately,” said Larry Stringer, operations chief for San Francisco Public Works.

Yes We Can! was launched in conjunction with Mission Giant Sweep – an intensive month-plus cleanup, outreach and enforcement campaign in the Mission District, focused on the Mission Street and Valencia Street corridors, from 15th to 20th streets; and the 16th Street corridor from Mission to Guerrero streets.

“The Mission Street corridor is one of the most dynamic streets in the City,” Supervisor Ronen said. “Through this pilot program we will be able to provide additional resources to the Mission, and help keep this neighborhood clean, safe and welcoming for everyone.”

As part of the Mission Giant Sweep operation, the Public Works Outreach and Enforcement (OnE) Team is conducting onsite inspections and providing educational materials informing property and business owners about code requirements to keep their properties clean and safe.

Public Works also is on the ground with street cleaners and graffiti abatement workers to deep clean the corridors.

The Mission District campaign is the third under the special Giant Sweep neighborhood program that kicked off last fall. The first two neighborhoods to benefit from the extra attention were Chinatown and the Excelsior.

About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right of way; and educates our communities.



Press Releases
Release Date
Tuesday, April 4, 2017