According to the city, the couch you benevolently leave on the street so some couchless person can cart it off may be costing San Francisco millions.
Actually, that's not true. People leave couches on the street because they're lazy. People take them because they're "frugal." But the part about costing the city millions -- that's possible.
A goodly number of the items left on the street that conveniently disappear after a few days weren't hauled away by college students but were instead collected by Department of Public Works employees on the city's dime. The city today launched a "Don't Leave It On The Sidewalk" campaign aimed to curtail illegal dumping. Crap left to rot on the street, both Mayor Gavin Newsom and a bevy of other city officials claim, costs San Francisco "millions of dollars." But how much?
According to the DPW, the yearly bill tops $4 million. This comes from two manners of leaving crap around. The first is the aforementioned sprinkling of worn detritus on the public right of way for the supposed benefit of apocryphal students. The second is the large-scale dumping of toxic materials in the city's more industrial zones -- such as the repeated discharging of toxic roofing materials in Bayview throughout September and October.