Supervisor Sheehy proposes heavy fines on Dolores Park litterbugs

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:

Dolores Park: What we leave behind

Dolores Park: Better binning, but trash can confusion persists

Dolores Park, Monday morning trash report, D +

Glorious Saturday transforms Dolores Park into a trash dump by Sunday

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  1. Gemma Jones

    Great idea but you’d need enforcement. People in SF love to throw their garbage on the ground and the city doesn’t seem to care to much about “quality of life” matters so what will make Dolores Park any different.

  2. Natalie Palinski

    Can’t image that this will stop the problem. For most of us, the difference between the threat of a $192 fine and a $1,000 fine is the difference from being pushed out of the 6th floor or the 26th floor.

    Sure, there may be some guys who don’t see a $192 fine as a problem, but really???

    And the stochastic enforcement, Most likely those how are going to be fined will be either the losers of the super random unlucky lottery, or worse will be profiled by police force with less training than the main police team.


    this all goes back to our do-gooder no plastic bag law and charge ’em for a bag law. How many times do we go into a store and get asked whether we want a bag, or have it assumed we don’t even when buying a twelve pack of beer? Sure, idiot, I’m going to haul a twelve pack of beer home by the handles. Overturn the bag laws and let’s see what happens. Another example of the city making problems for itself. Hell, stack some paper bags up for visitors.

  4. Chris Sro

    Great idea. How can we help make sure this passes?

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