Mar 7, 2024 - News

San Francisco's new trash cans may be delayed amid budget constraints

skateboarder next to a trash can

The "Slim Silhouette" model. Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco Public Works

San Francisco's new trash can rollout may be delayed due to budget constraints, a spokesperson for the public works department told Axios.

Catch up quick: In 2022, San Francisco Public Works tested six new designs for trash cans to replace the green containers on city sidewalks since 1993.

  • After feedback from residents, the department settled on the "Slim Silhouette" model, which is estimated to cost between $2,000 to $3,000 per can.
  • Meanwhile, Mayor London Breed has ordered city departments to focus only on their core operations and plan for 10% budget cuts in each of the next two years. Without spending reductions, San Francisco's deficit could reach $1 billion in 2027.

Threat level: For Public Works, that results in reduced spending of about $9.7 million over the next two fiscal years, which cover July 1 through June 30, 2026.

What they're saying: "This is a considerable sum; we need to be strategic and look closely at where we can take reductions without affecting our services and core work," Public Works spokesperson Beth Rubenstein told Axios via email last week. "It is possible that the procurement of the new cans will be delayed because of these budget issues. At this time, we do not know."

What to watch: Breed will present her budget on June 1, and the Board of Supervisors has until July to review it.


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