There Will Be Trash Talking About Repealing the People’s Ordinance in 2020

by on March 7, 2019 · 1 comment

in San Diego

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Mar. 1, 2019

What’s not to like about saving taxpayer dollars AND saving the planet?

Homelessness and housing policy are the two issues ‘everybody knows’ will be front and center in 2020 elections for the City of San Diego. There are already camps across partisan lines ready to weigh in on these matters.

There is, however, one sleeper policy challenge: our garbage. It’s a ‘third rail’ topic for local politicians, considered to be the kiss of death politically for anybody willing to speak up about changing a system that’s objectively unfair and a drain on the municipal budget.

If San Diego is to have any chance of meeting its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, our waste removal and processing systems must change.

Fixing this problem needs to become a litmus test for anybody currently in or running for office.

What we’re talking about is repealing The People’s Ordinance, which allows single family residences to have their trash pickup subsidized by everybody else. Currently this law, which dates back to 1919,  is on a crash course with SB 1383, a 2016 law requiring reductions in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste.

A San Diego County Grand Jury called for elimination of the People’s Ordinance in 2009:

The City’s cost for general trash pickup and disposal is approximately $37 million per year. Additional related costs to the City include $6.9 million per year in recycling fees paid at the Miramar Landfill, and $8.8 million for curbside pickup of recyclables and green waste. Thus the total annual cost to the City for all trash and recycling services provided without charge to San Diego residents is $52.7 million per year. According to the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA), even this total likely understates the true cost because it does not account for legal, financial and other city-wide administrative support expenses.

The City doesn’t have resources to deliver on past promises (let alone respond to SB 1383’s new targets and regulatory requirements). And we’re the only major California city that doesn’t charge residents a fee beyond ordinary taxes for trash collection.

SB 1383’s three primary targets for organic waste are:

  • 50% organic waste reduction by 2020
  • 75% organic waste reduction by 2025
  • 20% increase in edible food recovery.

For the balance of this post, please go to Words & Deeds here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

thequeenisalizard March 8, 2019 at 9:32 am

Here’s a radical idea. To lower costs of recycling and having all the taxpayers foot the bill for it, knock off the hype about doing your part to help the planet, and force the industrial capitalists stop producing the plastics and other shit that cause the pollution. Just a thought.


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