Lawn Looks Like a Landfill: Combating Trash Problems at San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park

The sun will be shining, the grass will be green, and the park will be filled with both people and — unfortunately for visitors — trash.

San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park is a hotbed for visitors on sunny, warm weekends. One of those picture-perfect weekends is expected this Saturday and Sunday, but when people pack the park, so does their garbage.

Officials with San Francisco Recreation and Park estimate that they collect roughly 7,000 gallons of waste during busy weekends.

"Bottles lined up and so much trash in these hills," parkgoer Lucia Buggiano said while describing the normal scene she encounters at the grassy refuge. "It's polluted. It's disgusting."

The trash is an unpleasant site for visitors and park officials, who say they are doing their best to eliminate the nasty problem. Additional permanent trash bins have been installed in the park this year, and a service will be provided this weekend to increase the amount of dumpsters available in hopes of enticing chronic litterers to put their waste where it belongs. That physical reminder of disposing trash will also be backed up by people meandering around the park verbally instructing people to make sure their waste ends up in the right place.

"We should all be respectful and pick our trash after ourselves," park visitor Arturo Flores said.

An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people are expected to visit the well-known San Francisco park this weekend, according to San Francisco Recreation and Park.

Contact Us