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San Diego a Step Closer to Mandatory Recycling

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Aired 4/19/09

The city of San Diego took a step towards mandatory recycling Wednesday. Residents, businesses and apartment owners spoke at the first of two public hearings. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diego City staff members say without more recycling, the Miramar Landfill will fill up and close in 2012. The city council asked for a mandatory recycling ordinance for residents and businesses back in 2005. The mayor is now exploring the options.

KB Mercer, a resident and a business owner, spoke at the hearing in favor of introducing city-wide mandatory recycling.

Mercer: As a citizen I want to tell you that voluntary measures don't work. People don't learn about it unless they have to, and I think people want to feel good about doing the right thing. We can change this cycle of making it seem like a burden and making it more like a contribution.

Under the city charter, San Diego single family homeowners don’t have to pay to have their trash picked up. That's one reason Mayor Jerry Sanders is approaching the idea of mandatory recycling cautiously: it would cost the financially strapped city money.

But staff will present a tentative plan at the next hearing in two weeks. Alison St John KPBS News.

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