DENVER — The City of Denver has dealt with at least 289 cases of public urination or defecation so far in 2018.
“You’ll come outside in the morning and someone will have just used the restroom all over the wall,” Denver resident Jake Rose said.
Rose, who lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the city, says he sees the issue when he walks into his alley to get to his garage.
“It’s pretty offensive. I’d rather not see it,” he said.
KMGH contacted several residents in the Capitol Hill neighborhood through the Nextdoor app to get their thoughts.
“This is a HUGE issue in the area,” one resident said. “This problem has increased dramatically.” Another added that there was “just poop everywhere.”
Denver police keep track of how many citations they give out for certain municipal code violations. From January to November, that number came in at 289 for public urination or defecation. A police spokesperson added that usually officers give warnings, sometimes multiple, before issuing a citation.
There were another 136 complaints through 311 for human waste in the public right-of-way.
“Any waste in the public right of way is essentially a public health issue because that waste can go into our waterways, people can be exposed to it, and we don’t want that,”said Jeremy Garland of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.
Garland says multiple city departments work together to try to address the issue. Police issue citations, DPHE deals with cleanup through 311 and the Department of Public Works can be called for larger cleanups.
“We don’t want this happening in our streets. I don’t think anyone wants that,” Garland said about the issue.
The city says there are enough public restrooms in Denver, and encouraged all people to use the city’s mobile restroom and/or shelters if needed.
“It’s pretty gross but the bottom line is when people don’t have a bathroom to use this is the bathroom,” Jake Rose said, pointing to the alley near his home.
For more information on Denver’s public restrooms and mobile restroom pilot program, click here.