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Free Trash PickUp Threatened For Thousands of San Diego Residents

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If you are one of the 300,000 households in San Diego city who don’t pay for trash pick up, you are still in the majority of city residents. But the mayor is trying to whittle that majority down. The city council’s Natural Resources Committee considers the mayor’s proposed changes today.

If you are one of the three hundred thousand households in San Diego city who don’t pay for trash pick up, you are still in the majority of city residents. But the mayor is trying to whittle that majority down. The city council’s Natural Resources Committee considers the mayor’s proposed changes today.

The mayor wants to start charging almost 20,000 more households and businesses for trash, if they are located on private streets. He says that willl save the city more than a million dollars.

The People’s Ordinance of 1919 gives San Diego city homeowners free trash pickup. But 40 percent of city households – those in apartments and condos - already pay for private hauling.

Glen Sparrow, professor emeritus at SDSU’s School of Public Administration and Urban Studies, said the mayor is trying to change the political equation.

“Seems like a divide and conquer,” Sparrow said. “Eat away at that majority who currently don’t pay for their trash, and hopefully get it to the point where, when you take it to a vote, you have enough people who will vote for everybody paying for their trash.”

The San Diego County Grand Jury issued a report in 2009 recommending that the People's Ordinance be repealed.

The mayor’s plan faces opposition from council members whose constituents don’t want to do what everyone else in the county does -- pay for their trash to be removed.

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