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Measure B race remains too close to call, 'Yes' votes now ahead

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Single-family homeowners in the city of San Diego haven’t paid additional fees for trash pickup in over 100 years thanks to a law called the People’s Ordinance.

Homeowner service is paid out of the city’s general fund, but multi-family complexes and businesses have to hire private waste haulers. That could change, if voters approve Measure B.

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It would let the city recover pickup costs from the roughly 53% of San Diegans who have been exempt from trash pickup fees.

Deanna Wolf, director of advocacy at the League of Women's Voters San Diego, said the organization is hopeful for the passage of Measure B.

"We really see that this as a opportunity for San Diego to embrace a more equitable, modern and sustainable means of waste management," Wolf said. "When we look at the equity issue here, we know that single family homes do not pay for the cost of solid waste collection and really — for us — there is no reason why a senior citizen in low income housing should pay more for trash collection than a homeowner in the city."

The city’s independent budget analyst estimates customers would pay $23 to $29 per month, per customer.

But our partner inewsource found those estimates are based on the city maintaining existing levels of service, not expanding them. They also do not account for inflation, which is at historic highs.

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A study to determine exact fees “could take several years to complete, and the cost to provide this service may increase over the next several years, the actual fee levied could be higher,” unless the city agrees to subsidize some of the costs, the city’s analysis said.

If approved, the ballot measure would guarantee free trash bins for all, which the city does not currently provide.

Measure B requires a simple majority vote to pass. If it does, it would be at least two years before any fees are charged to single-family homeowners. The city would have to do a cost-of-service study first.

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