Posts Tagged ‘poop’

San Francisco will launch a “poop patrol” in September in an effort to proactively remove the masses of homeless excrement currently turning the city’s streets brown.

The $750,000 operation is the brainchild of Mayor London Breed and Public Works director Mohammed Nuru, both of whom hope the patrol’s six dedicated staff members and two trucks will be able to locate and remove human feces from the streets before pedestrians call in complaints.

The “poop patrol” will have its work cut out — since the start of 2018, San Francisco’s 311 services received 14,597 calls complaining about piles of human and dog feces on the street, according to KGO-TV. That’s roughly 65 complaints per day.

The patrol will utilize data-driven strategies to proactively get ahead of the mess in particularly sticky areas of the city.

“We have data that shows where most of the complaints are for poop cleanup. So, the goal is to make sure we have a dedicated team and they are focusing on those particular areas where we know it’s most problematic,” Breed told KTVU.

There are about 7,500 homeless people living in San Francisco according to the city, which will spend nearly $280 million this year on housing services for the homeless.

The operation will serve as a compliment to the city’s Pit Stop public toilet program. The city allotted $1.05 million in its most recent budget to construct five additional public toilets, bringing the total Pit Stops in the city to 22. But many of the public toilets are only in operation until the late afternoon, leaving the homeless with few decent options overnight.

Breed, a Democrat who was inaugurated as the San Francisco’s mayor in July, has made frequent unannounced tours of the city’s streets to monitor their condition first-hand.

She praised the city following a tour Monday for making “important investments” in public trash cans, public toilets and expanded street cleaning teams.

But Breed acknowledged there is still much work to be done.

“I just want the city to be clean, and I want to make sure we’re providing the resources so that it can be,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/15/san-francisco-poop-patrol/

Instead of flushing millions down the toilet, humans could be mining their poop for gold.

That’s at least what some researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) think. They’re looking for ways to squeeze metals like gold and silver out of solid waste.

When poop arrives at a wastewater treatment plant, it is separated into biosolids and treated water. Inevitably about half of the biosolids (3.5 million tons in the United States alone) is sent to landfills or incinerated, while the other half is used as fertilizer.

Kathleen Smith, a USGS geologist, thinks people could make more of these biosolids; they’re full of tiny particles of metals that find their way into waste through beauty products, detergents and even odor-resistant clothing.

There are two good reasons to try to pull these metals out of poop, according to Smith, who’s presenting her research on the subject at an American Chemical Society meeting this week.

“If you can get rid of some of the nuisance metals that currently limit how much of these biosolids we can use on fields and forests, and at the same time recover valuable metals and other elements, that’s a win-win,” Smith explained in a statement.

The same chemicals (called leachates) that miners use to pull metals out of rock could be safely used to pull metals from waste, Smith and her colleagues found. The researchers have examined waste samples from small towns in the Rocky Mountains, as well as in rural areas and cities. They detected some sizable concentrations of platinum, silver and gold when they looked at their samples under a scanning electron microscope, they reported.

“The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit,” Smith said. In other words, if that level of gold were observed in rock, it would be considered a potential mining prospect.

It’s not just gold that could be mined and sold. Waste contains elements like vanadium and copper that could be used in devices such as cellphones and computers, the researchers said.

The economic value of poop mining is still unclear, but some recent projections have been promising. Earlier this year, another group of researchers published a paper in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, estimating that metals extracted from poop in a population of 1 million people could yield $13 million per year.

http://www.livescience.com/50235-solid-gold-poop-could-yield-precious-metals.html