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San Francisco to Install Bigbelly 'Smart' Trash Cans at Nearly Every Tenderloin District Intersection

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- In an effort to curb dirty streets in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, Supervisor Matt Haney announced on Monday the installation of 68 new "smart" trash cans in the area.

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District, which oversees other services in the neighborhood like weekly pressure washing and daily sidewalk cleaning, began installing the new Bigbelly trash cans on Monday over some 50 square blocks.

Bigbelly trash can
Bigbelly trash can installed in SF's Japantown (CBS)

The project increases the number of Bigbelly trash cans in the neighborhood by 12 times what's already there, placing roughly one trash can at each intersection. The installation is set to be finished by the end of the month, according to Haney's Office.

"The Tenderloin neighborhood deserves clean and healthy streets and sidewalks just like everywhere else," Haney said in a statement. "It's just ridiculous and completely unacceptable that you can walk for blocks in the Tenderloin without being able to find a single working trash can."

Haney has long advocated for new trash cans in his district, which includes the Tenderloin and South of Market areas. In April 2019, he released a 10 Point Plan for a Clean and Healthy Downtown San Francisco, which included the addition of more Bigbelly trash cans, more Pit Stop bathrooms and weekly sidewalk pressure washing.

According to Haney, the durable Bigbelly cans are made so that people will find it very difficult to pull trash out of them or break them open. Additionally, the cans compact waste, making them less likely to overflow.

The project was made possible through a partnership with the TLCBD, Haney's office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Mayor's Fix-It Team, Recology and the Department of Public Works.

The TLCBD's Executive Director Simon Bertrang said, "The Bigbelly pilot has proven incredibly successful, and we're excited to expand this program to finally give our residents, businesses, and visitors trash cans that are beautiful, accessible, and really work."

The Bigbelly cans will also be decorated with art, through a project with the city's Transgender District, featuring work by local artists.

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