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Voters will decide if San Diego's free trash pickup stays

Voters will decide if San Diego's free trash pickup stays.png
Posted at 3:42 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 20:18:20-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The fate of San Diego's free trash pickup is going to be decided by voters this November.

On Monday, councilmembers decided to move forward with the new measure with a 7-2 vote. There were dozens of public comments that supported this, saying that it will be better for the City, workers, and the environment.

But there are some who think that if this passes in November it is only going to hurt those who are already hurting.

Monday afternoon, San Diego's council members approved putting on the November ballot a measure requiring all San Diegans to pay for trash pickup.

Councilmember Sean Elio-Rivera said, "This has been on the books for 103 years now and we are about to take a step potentially to allow the City to step into the 21st century when it comes to what is one of the core services that a city is meant to provide."

The City has been picking up the trash and picking up the tab for single-family homes since 1919 when it created what is called "The People's Ordinance." San Diego is the only city in the county to do this.

Those in support say it is not fair that the city is not helping every single person in the City.

"It forces you to treat half of your constituents one way and the other half a different way," shares former council member Michael Zucchet

But not everyone thinks so.

"50 or 100 dollars a month makes a difference," shares Rodney Fowler.

Fowler has worked for the City's Environmental Department for over 30 years. He says if this passes, it will just hurt those who rely on the extra help.

Fowler agrees the ordinance needs to be changed, but he believes more work needs to be done.

"It involves a more in-depth process because what you have is community involvement, you have community participation, to be honest, this was done on the fast track," he shares.

However, council members feel differently. Over the past year, they have been studying the impacts of this ordinance. The study showed that in a ten-year span, the City's General Fund will be out more than $450.8 million dollars.

It also showed that progress towards zero waste has plateaued. If voters vote yes towards changing this ordinance, council members on Monday said that the City may impose a cost-recovery fee for waste services, but would not have residents pay for trash bins.

Come November this measure will be on the ballot. Voters will get to decide whether or not the City of San Diego will continue to pay for trash services or if everyone will pay for their own trash.