San Francisco Spending $1.7 Million to Build 1 Public Toilet


Think for a moment about what you estimate the cost would be to build a public toilet if you were put in charge of making it.

What number did you think of? Was it in the thousands or the hundreds of thousands? How about one million? More?

Well, if you guessed anything less than 1 million, you were way off — not a joke.

San Francisco, California, is dropping a seemingly unbelievable $1.7 million on one public toilet.

The San Fransisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday that there was supposed to be a celebration for the toilet. However, it was canceled once the price tag was revealed.

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NBC Bay Area reports funding for the project came from the state budget.

The Park and Rec Department of Public Works said the price tag was due to rising costs of building materials and the cost of building in the city. Additionally, it shared that construction would not be completed until 2025.

“It’s crazy. It’s just sort of an artifact of everything going crazy in the city,” former San Francisco resident Michael Papanek told NBC. “How could it possibly be 1.7 million dollars?”

Undoubtedly, California’s regulations are at least partly behind the time frame and the cost. This restroom will have to go through a “multi-phase review” to ensure it “is appropriate to its context in the urban environment, and that structures of the highest design quality reflect their civic stature,” according to the National Review.

Do you think it should cost this much?

Then it will go through a review to make sure it meets the standards of the California Environmental Quality Act. And it will be constructed by union workers who will “earn a living wage and benefits.”

Real estate analyst firm Redfin reported in January that the median house price in San Francisco is  $1.488 million. Perhaps the city should have just tried to buy a house. Then people could at least rest in the comforts of a home instead of standing in line outside. They could probably put a few couches and an espresso machine in too and still pay less.

If you’re not rolling your eyes hard enough yet, this is apparently not the only ridiculous project the city has embarked on this year.

In August, NBC Bay Area published a story with the headline, “$20,000 Prototype Trash Can May Not Be Tough Enough for San Francisco Streets.”

You read that right. A $20,000 prototype for a trash can — and it apparently was not working out so well. City officials reportedly are testing six different trash cans because what this world really needs right now is bureaucrats trying to reinvent trash cans.

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These things better have phone charging stations, vending machines, and a guide to the city for that price.

Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Public Works spokesperson, said of the prototypes, “If you can field test a garbage can in San Francisco, you can field test a garbage can anywhere.”

“We want to see what’s going to happen to these cans. Do they need a different lock? Does it need a different hinge? Are people not liking to use it?” she explained.

But rest easy, once the city selects the model for its new-fangled trash cans, they are expected to cost only between $2,000 and $3,000 per can.

Why? Seriously, just why?

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