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Friday, April 8, 2011

San Francisco Spends $833K on Toilet Paper

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 2:31 PM

click to enlarge No free ... lunch
  • No free ... lunch

Budget season is upon us once again in San Francisco. In the coming days and weeks, plenty of proposals for cost-cutting will be bandied about. But running San Francisco is a little bit like pawing through your friends' bridal registries. Everything is so ungodly expensive that you don't even know how much, say, matching towels are supposed to cost.

So, here's your benchmark. If ever you're wondering "Is that a lot of money?" in relation to San Francisco government costs, this is how much the city spent on toilet paper last year: $833,113.

SF Weekly plumbed the city phone directory searching for the above total. But we found it thanks to a Herculean effort from city purchaser Naomi Kelly. Our query piqued her interest, and she went through the city's janitorial paper contracts, extracting the toilet paper data. The result is a magnificent seven-page document revealing exactly who is going through the city's toilet paper supplies and what manner of bathroom tissue they're purchasing (Two-ply? One-ply? Jumbo?).

You can read every word of it here.

Perhaps, not surprisingly, the biggest consumer of toilet paper was the airport (with the exception of Larry Craig, most folks are using the restrooms for their intended purpose). Folks coming from and going to the friendly skies flushed $466,142 worth of toilet paper, more than half the amount bought by the city. The city bought one-ply TP for the airport slightly more than half the time. Perhaps they were saving the good stuff for locals.

Oh the humanity...
  • Oh the humanity...
Recreation and Parks spent $49,894 on toilet paper. For that price, you could build one-tenth of a park restroom. No, really.

The sheriffs spent $119,300 on TP -- they've got a big jail to run. The police, meanwhile, threw down just $7,595.

"Public Transportation," however, spent $24,249. That's enough for 12,125 Muni rides. Perhaps that hefty toilet paper stash is used to clean out the 38 Geary.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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