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San Diego looks at ending free trash pickup for many single-family homes

San Diego City Council holding public hearing on proposed city budget
Posted at 1:22 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 17:07:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A new proposal aims to end free trash services for many single-family homes in San Diego.

Most single-family homes in the City of San Diego do not pay a fee for trash pickup under the People’s Ordinance, which requires the city to pick up trash from homes with direct street access. The deal has been in place since 1919 — back then, the agreement sent the trash to hog farms where it could be sold as feed.

Times have changed. A new proposal could get rid of that free service for many homeowners.

Monday, City Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera told ABC 10News anchor Jim Patton, "this service is one of the only services paid for by the general fund that confers an exclusive benefit onto only a subset of city residents."

Elo-Rivera said by removing the free service, the city would be able to fund things like trash recycling, an organic waste system, and more services under the general fund, like firefighting and libraries. He added that San Diego is the only city in the county that doesn't charge for trash services from these home types.

Removing the service would impact many single-family homes and some multi-family homes.

The first step, Elo-Rivera said, is amending the ordinance to allow the city to figure out what the trash collection fees can be for homes — which requires a vote from the people. The second step would be to communicate with constituents what services they want out of trash collection. Then, the city would need to put forth a fee that residents would approve.

An analysis of the budget impact from the Office of the Independent Budget Analysis can be read online here. The city's Environment Committee will discuss the IBA report during its meeting on Oct. 7.