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City hoping 4/20 isn’t another trash show

Authorities are hoping cannabis enthusiasts will pitch in to clean up after this year’s 4/20 celebration at Golden Gate Park. The alternative could be no more 4/20.

“I don’t want to see this kind of tradition go away,” Board of Supervisors President London Breed told SF Evergreen. To keep 4/20 from going the way of Halloween in the Castro, celebrants “have to respect the neighborhood, and the parks, and the city,” Breed said.

Of late, 4/20 revelers have left literal tons of garbage in their wake: Workers picked up almost 20,000 pounds of trash last year, according to the Recreation and Park Department, a figure that mysteriously — and perhaps magically — doubled from 2013.

Since nobody officially sponsors the 4/20 celebration, no one is officially responsible to clean. That leaves it up to the taxpayers, and last year’s cleanup cost was $23,000, according to Rec and Park spokeswoman Connie Chan. That includes $15,000 for cleanup, and $8,000 to pay for additional Park Patrol officers for the day.

Cleaning up the mess outside the park cost another $10,000, said Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works.

Volunteers are encouraged to lend a hand. Last year, local cannabis clubs as well as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence volunteered to pick up trash. Western Addition native Breed was out there, too.

“I was mostly getting the cigarette butts and the coals from BBQ’s,” she said. “I didn’t find any roaches, those were all gone. I was like, ‘Wait a minute — I thought people came here to smoke weed!’”

Photo credit: Flickr.com/mattymatt