Dolores Park has a notable trash problem, and District 8 supervisor Jeff Sheehy is one of many insisting that park-goers be more responsible about their trash. But Sheehy is about more than just talk, he’s also bringing out the big guns with new proposed legislation that would increase fines for littering specifically in Dolores Park from $192 to $1,000.
The fine would remain the same in other parks. Park rangers can issue citations for anyone caught littering, but the legislation is intended to deter potential litterbugs with the increased cost if they are caught.
“Increasing the penalties for those who disrespect Dolores Park sends a clear message that we have a commitment to keep our parks clean and safe for everyone to enjoy,” Sheehy said in a statement.
Sheehy is also taking aim at glass specifically, citing safety concerns arising from broken glass. His legislation would ban glass in all parks, with certain exceptions determined by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
“We are asking people in Dolores Park to behave just like they would in Yosemite, respect the park – pick up after yourself and don’t bring glass,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “Your choices are the difference between a clean park and a mess.”
Efforts to improve Dolores Park include a recent renovation that cost more than $20 million and added new bathrooms that raised the number of toilets available from four to 27, and increased trash and recycling capacity from 35,000 to 56,000 gallons a week. The city also launched an education campaign to encourage park users to pack out their trash and added an “eco-pop-up” consisting of staffed recycling, compost and trash stations at the edge of the park. 81 percent of waste at the pop-up was recycled.
“This has led to some improvements in the trash situation,” Sheehy’s staff wrote in the statement. How much improvement? Here is some of our recent Dolores Park trash coverage: