Thanks to Supervisor Fewer, garbage cans are back at Ocean Beach

A few garbage cans are back at Ocean Beach, thanks to Supervisor Sandra Fewer and the Dept of Public Works.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 2 years since the National Park Service removed the garbage cans from the Ocean Beach promenade in what it called an experiment “that would encourage visitors to pack in & pack out”.

The experiment was met with public displeasure as dog walkers and picnickers had to carry their waste home, and the waste on Ocean Beach, especially around bonfires in the summer season, did not appear to decrease. Piles of garbage were often left next to stairwells, and trash continues to litter the beach.

Check out KRON-4’s Stanley Roberts video below when he found “People Behaving Badly” with their trash at the beach.

But still, the NPS buried their heads in the sand and refused to bring the cans back. Their desire for visitors to treat Ocean Beach – a public, well-trafficked beach – like a pristine wilderness, didn’t come to fruition.

Enter Sandra Fewer, the Richmond District’s new Supervisor who took office in January 2017. One of her mandates was to address the garbage and littering in the Richmond District, and Ocean Beach was an obvious target.

Earlier this year she kicked off a campaign to install cigarette butt disposal cans along the beach. And now, after complaints from Ocean neighbors, she has convinced the Department of Public Works to put some garbage cans back at the beach.

Angelina Yu at Supervisor Fewer’s office tells us that city garbage cans have been installed at Ocean beach stairwells 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 17.

Rather than being stairwell adjacent, the cans are just inside the edge of the parking lot, presumably because it is city land (not federal like the beach and its promenade), and they will be easier for city garbage trucks to service.

“These are temporary placements that will be there until GGNRA can set up their cans,” Yu said. It’s unclear when the GGNRA will install their own cans, and if they will install as many as were previously there.

Nonetheless, it’s great to have some cans back at the beach to help visitors keep it clean. Thanks, Supervisor Fewer!

Sarah B.

The sign the National Park Service puts at stairwells instead of garbage cans, to encourage people to pack their trash out

This garbage can has a great view every night.


  1. I’d love to see someone take on GGNRA about the conditions at China Beach. The old locker room is deteriorating and sealed away from all but lifeguard storage. It’s a historic building and could be a useful place, instead of the unsightly porta-potties.

  2. I gotta say Supervisor has pleasantly surprised me – first with the pot holes and now with Ocean Beach

  3. At DisneyLand there is a trash can every 30 feet. It works. The parks are immaculate. Ocean Beach and the other parks should have more trash cans, not less. The cost of collecting them would be less than the cost of cleaning up litter.

  4. The city should take back Ocean Beach. NPS is wholly and intentionally inept when it comes to beach maintenance and beach facilities improvement. Why don’t they use a beach cleaning tractor like other clean urban beaches? Some eco-bs reason I’m sure. As if broken bottles and trash are so much better for the birds.

  5. Pack out NPS. (It also boggles that mind that people go to a natural place just to leave their S*$T behind. Why go to a nice place in the first place. I’m getting old.)

  6. jee so sorry for the people who have no problem carrying stuff TO the beach but can’t be bothered to take responsibility for disposing of it properly. oh, too bad u have to WHAT??? carry it out with u?? the indignation. the imposition. the unfairness of it all.

  7. If there were a way to post pictures, I’d post one from yesterday of this same garbage can completely overflowing with masses of garbage around it. This is nothing new. We need plenty of real, separable, and safe garbage cans.

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